2014 November 06 Thursday
Serious Education Research Needs Controls For IQ

Tyler Cowen has a post about how charter schools supposedly get better over time. But what does that mean? The student quality may be improving. So I made this comment that bears repeating:

Education research that does not adjust for IQ differences of students canít compare the efficacy of different kinds of schools and different kinds of teaching approaches.

Seriously. If you do not adjust for the biggest factor of all how can the results mean anything?

Education research that does not try to control for intelligence differences of students (i.e. the vast bulk of education research) can't say much about what schools and teaching methods are better. A school full of extremely bright kids will do better than a school with only very bright kids and that pattern holds across the whole spectrum of intellectual abilities.

Education research is one of the academic areas most damaged by the tabula rasa faith which still dominates academia.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2014 November 06 04:57 PM 


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