As every researcher, expert and blog commenter alike will tell you, this 22 week period (known throughout education as the "Magic 22 Weeks" is the single most important determiner of standardized test performance. Other factors such as:
- Socio-economic status
- Second language status
- Special Education status
- Family stability and parental involvement
- Student mobility from school to school
- Academic rigor in a student's previous school years
- Student performance in previous school years
We're lucky to have a dogged organization like The Albuquerque Journal, one prepared to focus on the truly important when it comes to how our kids are doing in school. I, of course, refer to the essential listing of teachers names alongside Magic 22 Weeks scores. That way truly magical teachers can more easily be identified, and parents can simply request not only a "good" school but now a "good" teacher for their daughter/son. Those less "magical" teachers can be avoided, as it is quite obvious they are inferior in providing the vital 22 weeks of magic necessary for kids to do well.
Another added benefit of the Journal's bravery in posting teacher names is that everyone in town can now look at the list, find teachers they know (e.g., from having them as teachers as a child, or having dated them some years ago) and discover whether they are magically good teachers or not. In this way the data effectively works like one of those published lists of sexual predators or persons convicted of a DUI. Those teachers worthy of public shame can easily be identified and shunned from society.
Some might argue this is going overboard, and harkens back to the use of stocks and pillories, but these comparisons are invalid. They are invalid because we know just how important the Magic 22 Weeks are. It's not our fault these teachers cannot properly perform this magic! They are bad teachers and they must be publicly humiliated!
Bravo, Albuquerque Journal! You may receive a fair degree of condemnation by the misinformed and humiliated for your decision to publish this list. Please take it from this humble professional educator and even more humble blogger: you guys are performing what might be the greatest public service since the decline of tarring and feathering.
I say this for two reasons.
First, everything that's wrong with this country is centered on our stupid unwillingness to blame and properly punish the non-magical. For years now we've obsessed over "fully studying issues" and "seeing things from both sides" and look where that's gotten us! To Hell with milquetoast excuses about things like "socio-economic status"! We need to revert to the good, solid statistical thinking employed by those during our Colonial Period. Why look at the mathematical magic of the "3/5ths Compromise"! Our Founding Fathers would understand and promote the meaning of the Magic 22 Weeks, and demand that such a list of teachers be published.
Second, publishing such a list is exactly the sort of "old school" newspaper selling technique that both Ben Franklin and William Randolph Hearst would have applauded. In a dire time for print media, you at the Journal have bravely risen to a journalistic standard not seen since the glorious days of the Spanish/American War.
Put simply, inspiring work Albuquerque Journal. Bravo, Sirs and Madams, bravo!