Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Comparing Test Scores to TV Ratings

I am a big fan of Greg Gutfeld's Red Eye on Fox News. However, he definitely harbors some negative views about public education and teachers in general. On Monday's The Five and Red Eye, he lambasts the idea that teachers do not want to be evaluated by student test scores because of all of the variables involved such as poverty. This was in reference to the teacher strike in Chicago, which is more about the proposed evaluation system changes rather than pay and benefits. He then went on to equate test scores to television ratings. He said that he is judged by his ratings and despite things like the Olympics, the political conventions, or always being bumped on primary nights and presidential address nights, he cannot use those things as excuses like teachers do with student poverty.  

However, TV ratings and standardized test scores are not the same. Are media personalities judged based on their average ratings or their ratings on one particular day?  It's an average over time.   The last time I checked, the Nielsen boxes transmit information in real time and are not only activated for use once a year like a state standardized test. Furthermore, is Gutfeld evaluated based on the ratings of Mike Huckabee's show? Most likely not. Yet  music, PE, and social studies teachers are rated based on reading and/or math scores. Kindergarten through third grade teachers are being rated based on the scores of fourth and fifth graders. 

This is not a good comparison at all. 

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