Adios, Andrew Coulson

Neal McCluskey  and Jason Bedrick mark Andrew Coulson's passing, far too early. Andrew and I corresponded some years ago via email and he  he asked if I would send the statistics I had compiled on the relation between age (start) of compulsory attendance and NAEP test scores (positive. Later is better) and district size and NAEP test scores (negative. Smaller is better). He said that he would pass these to Caroline Hoxby, a far more statistically sophisticated analyst than I. Perhaps she needed a laugh. Coulson's  Market Education makes the historical case that the education industry thrives without State (government, generally) compulsory attendance, subsidy, regulation, or direct operation.      


Confirmation Bias?

Teacher credential requirements maintain the mystique of the education industry. Otherwise, why not let parents decide what, where, and how their children learn? I found one class (Statistics) in the College of Education useful. Professor Ayabe suggested a year-to-year recursive grading system. Based on my experience of the useless College of Education coursework and later analysis of State-level credential requirements and State-level NAEP performance, I oppose State-imposed restrictions on whom principals may hire (aside from excluding pedophiles and other dangerous criminals).

Anyway, I am quite prepared to believe this:
Take the evidence on GPA and SAT scores. Some research suggests that these screens can predict teacher effectiveness, but the differences are small, and there’s no clear tipping point guiding states on where to set their expectations. The evidence on coursework and certification requirements is even weaker..