The worst eighth grade math teacher in NYC. – A. Pallas

Pallas, Aaron.  “The worst eighth grade math teacher in New York City.”  A Sociological Eye on Education.  May 15, 2012.  Retrieved from:

Professor Aaron Pallas writes about the “worst” math teacher in NYC according to Value Added scores.  Carolyn Abbott was a victim of her own success and was working with a severely flawed system.

How could this happen? Anderson is an unusual school, as the students are often several years ahead of their nominal grade level. The material covered on the state eighth-grade math exam is taught in the fifth or sixth grade at Anderson. “I don’t teach the curriculum they’re being tested on,” Abbott explained. “It feels like I’m being graded on somebody else’s work.”

“They’re not accepting answers that are mathematically correct,” Abbott notes, “and accepting answers that aren’t mathematically correct.” And the multiple-choice questions?  “Multiple-choice questions don’t test thinking,” she declares. Knowing how to answer them is “just an art.”


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