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WILK News Radio>Audio & Video on Demand>>Dr. Eric Hanushek Interview

Dr. Eric Hanushek Interview

Feb 19, 2014|

WILK's L.A. Tarone interviews Stanford's Dr. Eric Hanushek on the current state of American education.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

I -- -- on -- terror our show for this Wednesday night it is indeed underway and I'm very happy to its value that we're going -- the news -- Carolina and speaking with doctor Eric can you Shaq doctor and you Shaq has been. Writing about education have been involved in education since the mid 1960s. You've probably read G is opinion pieces -- enough. The Wall Street Journal and a ton of other places. He's also a member of the Hoover institution's correct task force on K through twelve education and he -- soften on the edge. A Jew what -- you want blonde. And is on the faculty at Stanford University doctor and you -- thank you very much for being -- tonight. It's wonderful to be review I can't contestant so important competition brings to your listeners. Well I apologize in advance of some of my questions sound a little bit simplistic I've never worked in education the closest I ever came and was being a newspaper reporter who covered. Several school boards. By and now this part of Pennsylvania for several years and I. Actually tried to write about what was taught in the classroom rather than just the politics of the school boards which I guess may be a little unusual. I SD in general what is this state of American education. -- unfortunately not so good to. Ball loose and I -- really not internationally competitive anymore. When you look at. Things like national achievement or trying to achievement. All of our students. Flew below the average of two developed countries to control without -- and -- grinch. Such countries including Spain Portugal. And increased. Return not to countries so we want to be competing we're. Miss our second world countries in other words so what you would it be fair to say that we and education system that is in general teaching sue to. A second world level. -- the -- certainly learning at a certain rules level and this is could have a huge implications from Eurostat. I'm done well just because you don't really well functioning. Of the economic institutions. And so. All of moved up four million poor performance of our schools but in the future we can't come -- America. I think that in general -- there aren't a lot of people who actually work in education who would disagree that we're not doing exceptionally well. Over the years there have DN a great number of different changes that were made -- education I've -- often on this program and it seems to me that there's more experimentation. And education. I then there is in a ton of other things he can think of for example. We went from phonics to look say now back to phonics and and that sort of thing. I'm number one would you agree with with that didn't and number two has said experimentation. In general and a good thing or bad thing. It looks totally agree that there's been huge and moan don't have to experimentation. What happens to not to grew experiment. I -- should be determined more action to try to learn what works. I'm talking into new experiment and don't learn anything trauma to. So we introduce new things and we never learned. Really whether they're successful or not we only can tomorrow and want to create something else to new introduced. The latest thing that has been introduced there's been adopted -- part of Tuesday's Pennsylvania being one of them is calm and the -- First -- only escape just in general can you explain. It to the average person such as myself. Exactly what common core. Is what is it supposed to. -- Sure it's it's such a challenge straightforward and it comes from car. It is -- dozens injured. Following loomed. Subject to increased global. -- -- schools absolutely. Saved. In first grade -- you can -- you should note the following things that -- and the fourth grade. And seventh grade yeah you should know the following trends. And so forth can -- through Ichiro saw. It's your curriculum stereos. And I don't try it. What the kids presumably should be learning and had each credible. Is -- so. In any way shape or former related to outcomes based education which twenty years ago was the rage. Well okay a little bit -- what -- -- core. Yeah trying to put a large moved. And then I'm sure own worst kids should be held up. Okay thank you old today. Restated -- its own standards. Pennsylvania. It. I can still stand standards and the Buckeyes continued and so forth. And and -- different. Men are pretty weak. Some more pretty strong. And bouquet and quite inconsistent. So the guys behind common -- improved and so we should do the same thing. -- -- And one of the motivating factors is that we should set standards for -- really. Little. Hole and encourage college readiness. Just under. So that and people students will hold. The blue Mac then excellent -- to a good point. Is the idea behind common -- do you believe it is a good saying a positive thing. It's. A lot of controversy over come in cork. And participated in much of the controversy. For one simple reason. Try to look at -- stood still -- can look at two very different standard that I just described that each state has. -- correlation between I'm really substandard. How good they are by some -- systems and what kids can actually learn. And so can move I -- a little bit injured indifferent to common core. Just saying what kids should know it doesn't mean no no it. And the there is a great deal of controversy is a matter of fact in this day -- they were already been adopted and we have a very. Weird system in this says they do and we have a Department of Education. And then we just above board of advisors called the board of education which is picked by the governor and then -- -- independent regulatory commission can. And they all have to agree that our common did that anything. I would be adopted they already have a now there's a movement in the legislature to -- kind of blocked them. Who pie hole was was the basis of common -- developed to do we know. You disagreement about test and are confident. The general story that you should stop using the word common. -- -- the general story here and so this came. And an individual stage and they got together and cannot put the idea -- At the same time the federal government put a lot of weight and emphasis. Behind east seemed urged. From which grant making and through its rules changes on No Child Left Behind it to our ability and so forth. And so are. The controversies. That it is still in Pennsylvania and understated choose whether this is really. Double standards and pushed down nose -- and individual stated I think that's controlled portion total. The issue. Do whether this is legitimate or not. And what is bill Gates's role in these stint in the development of common core and is it. That important that he has a role. Did so it is the sound like an in -- and so you don't like -- ride for lots of -- And his foundation he has been very interesting and educational issues over par. What it is foundation has done his support to developing a common core and it's. And -- sort of complication of these ideas across many states. So that it could be -- It's true for some people. You mentioned -- do to keep trying I just try to talk and to support for whatever you want to do what you shouldn't I don't think it's right. I'm just try to combat. No one can mean there's associated recipes for the people. Who hands. That it hasn't -- in cold would be useful if you were us. OK -- that is the reason I mention him because he is such a lightning rod and I've seen if you're looking and you can find anything on the Internet -- you wanna believe it or not there are some web sites that claim. He and I handful of -- develop common core and they're pushing -- and of course it did it sounds like it's from the planet say toxin or something but I think that's country and it asked whether or not. He had -- developing it. What about what it would be replacing No Child Left Behind developed by. Really President Bush and and now former senator Edward Kennedy. Thought was supposed to. Bring accountability if I can use official language tutor class from. What gag it's it's about on its last legs I believe President Obama would like to replace it. You'll -- but no child out left behind it and accomplish anything wasn't worth anything. -- think it's been very confident and I. Consider having an accountability system is very important from you -- What we've seen since no child behind you and can play you in 2002. And improve student performance so gonna. Can more rapidly than it did before him. And I think part of that can be attributed to her room. And No Child Left Behind. The relationship with calm and cool. It is a little bit complicated IndyCar Series it explicitly not on the same issue. But one of the things so it goes along with common core. Good intentioned developing. Doomed. Just don't you tell us tonight -- -- assessments. For what kids should know. And that's an important part of accountability. Can contend and -- -- and so student knowledge and being able to hold that over time. And on in Pennsylvania there there were. Some problems with the application and it may be they were and other states as well but I know from a couple of school districts and I covered. I heard a a lot of complaints from superintendents. That -- you've got kids with IEPs as individual education programs for our listeners may not know what that is that's what we used to call special led. Hi in one particular school district we have a large percentage. Good kids with either a limited English proficiency or no English proficiency. And there are supposed to score well on exams you can see me in all honesty dad did seem sort of unfair. Actually write it and I'll show that I can't think accountability was important then there are No Child Left Behind -- -- positive impact. The same time I think it would turn flawed law. And that it should be tracks. He original legislation were supposed to be re authorized tin can tell -- himself from new. The -- to be re authorized. -- in part because people. Are concerned about politics -- so cool beyond for a lot. Obviously used to improve accountability system that would in fact I attempt to improve to resolve. Well I can turn that's probably not going to eliminate it and grumbling that the reason your current school system evolved. Accountability. Around. Camera doesn't include basically in simpler terms nobody wants to be held accountable and I think everybody else should be but not I -- -- and that's what. -- cool so they don't. Really want to be accountable. And so they would prefer not to. Yeah there was something in a scandal in Atlanta out. There was a smaller version of vibe that type of scandal here in this particular part of Pennsylvania was to a school districts in particular this Scranton school district. And they hazel to an area school district. Where there were allegations. Of by teachers trying to help students do well. Because -- district. Had something to gain is students do well. To me that sort of thing just seems inherent when there's a lot ate it like indemnity and he really can't do anything about it. If so much is riding on the result of attacks -- Now I can cure actually -- captain your tour some. Didn't somewhere warmer toward child left behind in -- priority. Because -- the -- it was -- -- the -- she didn't important and and a variety of -- published in the universe. Allegations that some school systems provided. -- home -- You can collude to the old -- before the protest to get people. Because that might help third ranked what I am I don't have traditionally -- on pit road test and it is it is Hampton. And you have to do you are willing to work just see what you can do and people are intent to commit -- when he's through for. Do you -- system. -- just can't do that if it is alternative -- no accountability. And so far more people -- -- we want to. Can we just have to do some of those problems. -- percent to. You rest population news. Judged on the performance on the job and it has implications. -- their livelihoods. And their jobs -- proven -- -- home and there's emotion and could in my mind that says it's. All are in -- different from the rest of our system. Let's begin with doctor Eric can you Shaq from my Stanford University about the a lot of different aspects of American education doctor and -- -- -- I have to ask did the question that I'm sure you've been asked to have quite a bit over the years. Class size to. What impact does class size may. On various grade levels of. Yeah well this semester and highly disputed the position your dreams come. And that's why I brought it up I know some of teachers unions have you is public enemy number one Nash. Because I am quoting your assertion newspaper columns of item by Britain over the years. They're probably somebody you can had a million that it can. Let -- ask him. And tendency. To certain. Good. Reducing class size we're actually you know for California governor Pete Wilson. Back in the 1990s. Home where he wanted to put more money into the school. I didn't want to go to teachers and teachers' unions and we got the idea of reducing our hardest. Well it turned out -- two teachers unions whether it was a means more important solutions forum to more members. Problem. Than just and and the debate about it other than it is -- third. Do you practice -- do you -- mostly from the larger than zero chance for only conclude that. And this difference of aspect of class size strict cost to produce an ambiguous. This is by far the most expensive food. -- -- Paulson did anybody considers. Still can. And then yeah. Glad to negligible. Impact from student achievement. So that includes under the district. Wanted to spend more money. They would be much much much better off. Trying -- you cab money -- enhanced. Teacher couldn teacher effectiveness. And they would by reducing -- contacts. As -- now this is to attack. Paraphrase. Your search in a very small capsule from somebody who is an education layman but I believe that. You've found that there was something of an impact in grades K. Through two. And -- that none or very close to non -- grades three through twelve is that accurate. So competitive factors that we're really all of the evidence to really first and kindergarten -- first glued. And then after that it would lose. No conclusion that we don't have those suggested there's no impact at all. Calm with good grades K through two K through one. -- -- -- -- -- and we have come from an experiment it's. They've done extraordinarily large change in the class size moving. It's cold it's from 23 year 24 students through fifteen or sixteen students today -- you know it's a big difference and there are additional modest. Can. Calm and you know if you ask me as a -- I don't always prefers mountain storm classrooms. And because it's -- work. Okay you have to kind of well I can give more individual attention to students pay attention to what they do and so forth. Other countries have just twelve and sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn't Purdue it's more a function of food and -- -- sure -- do so how much can turn the corner. Let me ask you ID in in the upper grades. How. And how the -- search has been Don wasn't comparing. Small classes in Pennsylvania and they say Smart classy you're looking. I it's 25 now I know the teachers unions would like to get down to about 22. Vs us some classes in the wilkes-barre school district amaze -- school district and 3230. -- the assertion was that did it compare us. I hate to use as chairman I'm going to anyway. Outcomes what was learned by students in bold fit in in like our range of class sizes. Sure a lot of fruits are different to most research subjects involved education. I mean there's been enormous amount of research in the increasing just could. Between fifteen and forty's there's no systematic. Impact. California urban crowds. The very. Discussion about class size is really one of putting -- disarmed when you're talking about taking -- legislation that no -- can -- -- can. Right twenty force students perform. That is -- if it's. -- -- I have some certain subject matters some groups of students some teachers. And smaller classrooms -- came just a learning and the kids. But it's also clear that for -- Courses for other groups of students for a -- can turn it doesn't have any impact. And so when we talk about class size reduction yeah. -- policies simply usually talking about. Some had uniforms for everybody right designation. Sensible management decisions so they can more classrooms where it has an impact cannot -- don't have to. I can I assume that -- some of those few examples of those classes where it might make a difference is something along the lines of eight. A computer lab or a science lab rather then say. Basic American history course or basic English grammar. -- -- un -- but then again. Compact and the fact that. Can -- Good at handling large numbers of students and others aren't trying to shift. I'm just there's just a simple management and answer -- and just goes against. -- -- -- -- You have big ranges of differences in the effectiveness of teachers. I didn't make sense to do -- more effective teachers -- since he can't change can. It is exciting to do to the magic quit more kids eat and you get very ineffective teachers smaller classrooms. Well -- usually between -- just the opposite I was. Just gonna say they get sort of by you say as as a reward worried. For being a good teacher and four years of service will limit your class size in the new guy we're not sure he knows what he's doing or not we're gonna give him a class of 35 kids. It's precisely and so that's the kind of stuff. And Bloomberg. -- to use the word. -- managed -- control the content management doesn't make much sense and boom we don't. And force in our schools then can better management positions for -- often. When I read your -- search and some of the paper Asia Britain very often you talk about the quality of teaching. And and in fact did you know I'm getting rid of the ineffective teachers. How would you determine how is it determined how do you personally determine if you're in that that role. What makes an effective teacher verses what makes and ineffective teacher. No more or judgment about a factor of intrusive and it it is simply based upon what kids learned in the crowd. And the children teachers. We class year after year -- learn a lot to. -- Nicole and effective teacher. If you have more class where the teams year after year learn a little -- Happy person be effective teacher. -- know there's an enormous amount of resource to try disable what is at a ball to contribute at least some would be attracted to him and others cannot be. You can -- is we have no idea that some researchers and research has been terrible. Don't at the same time and you know I know and everybody in the schools knows. Can't draw big differences in the end they're generally pretty observable. You can walk into almost any school. And very quickly figure out. We moved. The good teachers at school and a group of teachers have maybe shouldn't be in that school. I guess when you think about it how different is that from the rest of society like I've been in radio for 35 years I can tell you exactly who I work for whom I worked for. Who was an effective manager and who wasn't though on paper -- resignation probably -- -- pretty similar to each other. You're exactly and so -- and and so the need go to teachers unions are basically. You have to handle foolproof way you know to evaluate my teachers before you can do rendition. But then the rest of society that's not pretend you certainly. Want to have a good method of evaluating. Can turn this as other employees. Oh brother nutrient can make a few mistakes. And did you deliberate attempt to try and see if he's terms. And the new evaluation. And it is terrible. Say 39 now -- with -- doctor right Eric can you Shaq I am getting out. Bombarded with bad text messages doctor Andy scheck asked you -- one a question in particular. In addition to working at the university level did you ever teach in public schools. Now I can't -- can't. I'm just about inclusion. It is something that that we do win Pennsylvania when I was in junior high school I remember. There was some you know I had grade level 717273. Down to 77. And then that was eliminated probably about twenty years -- golf. Under the I I guess the -- the rationalizations behind a -- -- you -- -- -- hurt the self esteem. Our kids in the lower grades. And it's free it seems. Kind of ridiculous to you at a kid with an IQ of say a 130. And put him in the same class Swiss say he. A kid -- an IQ of I don't know 95. -- what about inclusion do you think it works and I accurately described it. It can you need elements there's so and one part of conclusion that I can -- so it is really special education our people I am. I don't try and learning disabilities. -- to. You need some sort of remediation. And the question was -- they should be in the regular classrooms special classrooms. And -- federal law passed in 1970s. -- -- -- The special education can should be included in the least restrictive couldn't determine possible. Comeback -- a variety of different compared often means power. What's called mainstream reporting -- some class. To continue to trade off between trying to. Applaud the best environment to kids who don't care. -- the legitimate. Cause problems and handicapped. And the other kids in the class and I think this is the case where and you have to use some discretion of kind of the balance off third conflicting interest. Sought -- or is it may not necessarily be a bad idea but they can be carried to extremes for example kids with learning abilities are a lot and housing may be and I July 12535. No problem but the wide range I mentioned to begin with could be a problem. That's just during the game and possibly. And didn't try to do all your support and -- can sit behind. When you and do it whether they're disruptive first storm from the class yeah. I'm food duration units come out do -- home. -- the bill would detract from this cat food and half black and blue in the blue birds that you remember when you're going to school. Room and cabin can and there's. Even from both sides -- -- -- 123. The the junior class simply put they're -- -- right -- food portents but don't include some good kids or. Alternatively. You can have been more genius classrooms Walter -- a progression of their own couldn't. And spend and don't try to -- different studies on -- can my own. I didn't because it's -- you -- home. You can help some content could cost a total numbers. So so in other words you would think that heterogeneous group brings is preferable to -- genius groupings. I'm sorry the other well heterogeneous grouping is preferable they heterogeneous group brings. Depends on what -- -- from the Christian -- -- preferences com. Can you move slower learners tonight. Got a lot out of being mixed in with Castro loose but -- -- learn to do some sort doomed. This woman knows. Basically tradeoffs that we estimated could balancing out. Yeah interest -- different yeah. And the way you organize your school. And in this part of Pennsylvania -- become. A significant non English speaking up population. And job most districts in particular one school district -- hazel an area school district is actually a very large school district. Does English as a second language sometimes called English language learner. And I don't a couple of members of the school board were set I would prefer we do Immersion. With Bob. Immersion meaning you take them out of class and teach him English and demand for listeners -- -- and -- they teach you English first before you try anything else. -- that seems like a no brainer that does seem to make a lot more sense in DSL. End and whoever did -- some places like California to make sure that it is illegal to do adapt to. You have. People talking no mood to English language. And Croatian nun who wouldn't aren't. Forward to English language learners what's best for them whether it's passed through. Try to take intermodal orders at them and learn what other kids. To listen to -- and that is clear. It is that nothing has more important to success in the US and learning new English language and most and so you who want to make sure that. Did you -- to. English language learners to succeed I think it's a society and so it's really incumbent upon us there. To improve that process because -- A number of contempt and left behind. Because we never really learn English language. We asked in -- changed gears completely in general are charter schools a good idea. Sure -- -- yeah. And and blue. Didn't continued its. Okay. Advantageous to have some Troy and the alternative school that can condone true. Could not hold the research suggests -- torso and didn't turn school -- Form or another. And can do better than regular public school in some linked to worse for -- alternative public school. And that's truly fair and important and what we see over time incentives. Terms schooled and got a bit better but there's still some bad ones and we had a close. And he's dead charter schools in the same way that we had to close bad public schools there's no difference but every now actually it. And better you do that every agent this same mean average performance of terms school. And pessimistic average performance of the traditional public schools. -- choice and having some of those better schools it is we're told it's. Bomb can do teachers today. Have it rougher in the classroom on the then they did and saying 1964. War. Our pairings less in mauled to. Me in many cases you don't know the pair is is is that there is that a fair thing to say. Yeah I mean you know oh we used to call the don't shoot me if you're always better and I and that's. I fight. And it is and -- -- -- seen him since there are more single. -- -- -- Families' lives have cute kid in school will we see you read more child poverty which is closely related death and single parent campaign. And some other things -- look like. Their kids are more difficult to teach I did the same time we have. Smaller families which are generally good for kids to have more -- in terms of attention parents can learn and we have more educated parents and we did in the payouts news. And I can't determine the best we can tell. The pluses and minuses sort of net out to zero. There's. John every -- The same same word in 1964. We do some dumb things I think. In not Pennsylvania in general and maybe this is nationwide amateur for example on Pennsylvania we have a bunch or regulations called plan cons. And they mandate did every student had 3.5. Squeak out feet of square feet of space. Add I don't understand the reasoning for that. And if I can now briefly tell you a story that has been repeated fairly often. Not end this is it -- hazel is an area school district very often they gave kids. Particularly from the Dominican Republic about but but say is some other Spanish speaking countries -- well. Who come here and there's sixteen or seventeen years old. They can't write in English they can't read and write in Spanish. And yet they have the district -- put them in an age appropriate class and they have to put -- in ninth or tenth -- to me that just seems crazy MI I missing something. I can't get -- excited to know crude do you -- and not so much. Kids from the Dominican Republic but the fact that we're going to. Can tell all the schools need to learn from the State Capitol. -- know we're gonna put regulations on. All -- and so it's -- turn schools. Into something we can learn it and we don't know how to do that we don't know how to. -- tribulations you -- they have regulations saved. And so and sanitary conditions in your school exposed. When we just get -- to describe what a good teacher really sure what a good. And what looks like and so forth who really just terrible horrible time during an -- in the state capital and so it's. -- -- -- Contact -- own culpability in -- tartar control our opinions to. Typical politician compete kitchen. -- -- what they're teaching and hold what Colin notable for the outcome. But let ten -- to try to support how they -- -- don't come. Unbelievable that's more no call decision making local control. All but only time -- know hold them responsible for making sure that kids are learning. I'm just about out of time here tonight I wanted to at least get -- one calling him Bob from done more for doctor and you Shaq -- up. Exact definition welcome aboard -- -- we have guess that LA show. And you just got an idea I realize that I talk to different teachers and I've -- at some education programs there is that the good teacher. Doesn't have enough to time in the classroom. Student comes in the class at 9 o'clock in the morning there's a bunch of mom. Announcements to be made you know 101520. Minutes. And then basically others -- Well wolf it's what what are we gonna get not catch the bus so why can't the -- men they usually get and by the time they take to roll. There is in the low education go one man. So by the time then they started to teach a class miles outside. Of everybody learns differently. And then the the probably the page you don't have enough time to zero and he still wouldn't. To bomb to define what they -- they are because distinctive -- all the material when they leave the club had done ever be able to do the homework and they fall behind that's my point. Okay is that a valid point. -- -- Turns should be spending their time teacher and you're not doing a bunch of other administrative things. And this is what Q we get more of Katrina had better. Just accountability for the outcome to reward people for getting good outcomes and not. Forgetting bad outcomes today we don't do any rewards -- successful trailer here. From where if if -- the measure outcomes is there any other way to do -- but standardized test does that Harken back on some of those. Some of those complains that I received. When I was newspaper reporter covering this ballistics and I thought they were valid I mean it's he's kind of silly to me. To take somebody within IE PA an expecting to do well on the standardized tests but I don't know towels we would do it. Sure I mean can you want to be careful about but there. Other ways to charge for chairman in the Q2 two schools are using the teachers are using. Good image -- standardized testing certain that we can and people carnival tradition that we all think. Can should be learned in the schools it's possible to develop could tell us it's possible to install just -- a lot for. Different -- good morning conditions. Is kids they would it be sensible to may be exclude some students from tests as well for example. If but if you're one of the students that I mentioned and it I don't know English how can you take -- standardized test in English. And suddenly cast stones. It is that we don't want to ask schools just. Excluding Willy Nilly I didn't screw you -- excluding the disregard learning. -- -- and what kind of an and so the idea is to try to regularly can. Sure that you have a good measure of how well -- goes to -- Baghdad take some terror to figure out how to do that. Then my doctor -- scheck I'm out of time thank you very much for spending this I just about this entire hour with me any fear Andrew's -- -- is there again is doctor Eric good to see. H aid and US. HEK. He's with -- Stanford University just -- MA NL -- pop up all over the place doctors thank you very much for being with us and now we'll talk again. Hello thanks -- and.