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Connor Lynch
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If students can tell the difference between good and bad teachers, why not let students (and their parents) rank teachers in order of preference and let teachers decide which students get to be in their classroom based on grades and behavior reviews? So each year, the students essentially compete to get into the best classrooms within each school. The teachers most in-demand among the best students are probably the best teachers. Not only that, but the best students won't get bored by having to go at the pace of the slowest student in the grade. Obviously there are some details to iron out, such as how to discourage grade inflation, but overall I think it's a pretty solid way to go about things. A rudimentary version of this already exists with the AP/Honors/Regular distinctions, but giving students more choices, and earlier, could really do wonders. Problem solved. Plus, this would yield an amazing amount of information about the problems facing different schools--for instance, in areas where teacher selection preferences tend to be more or less random, lack of parental involvement is probably more to blame for poor student scores than poor teaching.
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Sep 24, 2012