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March 7th, 2011
10:10 AM ET

Perry's Principles: Students learn three times less from bad teachers

A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research shows students learn three times more from a top-performing teacher than from a bottom-performing teacher.

The NBER's findings also show the importance of a good teacher in the long-run; in one year, a well-above-average teacher– in this case, one that's in the 84th percentile of effectiveness– may lead to as much as $400,000 in additional lifetime earnings for his class of 20 compared to an average teacher.

CNN Education Contributor and Founder of Capital Prep. Magnet School Steve Perry talks to T.J. Holmes about the NBER's findings.

Filed under: Perry's Principles
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. evensonk

    So, how much does Steve Perry earn? Many teachers earn less than 40,000 a year and need to earn money beyond the classroom to make ends meet for their families. So, if I have to take a job in retail to make ends meet, according to Perry, I'm not a good teacher automatically because I don't work with kids ALL the time. And according to Perry, my certification means nothing; my Master's degree, which can cost me from 10,000 to $20,000 (on my nickle!) means nothing; my years of experience in the classroom honing my skills as a teacher mean nothing? Most young teachers wuss out after 3-4 years. Perhaps they could have become good teachers, but lack the guidance and support of quality, intuitive, reasonable thinking administrators. By his reasoning good teachers are born that way and can't earn it or learn it. So... good plumbers are born that way and they don't need licenses and advance training but if they mess around with their friends' toilets at night, that makes them good plumbers? Unbelievable! Apparently reasoning skills were not being taught in Perry's school which means according to his thinking that all his teachers were not spending enough of their days working only with kids. By the way, what does Perry do when he leaves the office each day-and is it any of his bosses' business just what he does? It shouldn't be Perry's business to know exactly what each of his teachers do either after they fulfill their contract time. Why is CNN not asking some public school administrators their opinions or at least trade off among public, private and charter schools? Which type of school do we have the most of in the U.S. anyway?

    March 8, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  2. Dan

    This guy is an idiot. The good teachers are the ones that do extra things like coach, but what happens in the classroom doesn't matter? WHAT? Yes, the teachers that do extra certainly love kids. But that doesn't make ANY difference in the classroom.

    March 8, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  3. mike sey

    Right on, Greg. A good insurance salesman will sell three times the amount of insurance as a poor one, a good QB will score 3x as many TDs, a good Gardener will have 3x as many blooms as a bad one. a good house builder etc etc.

    a good student will probably learn 3x as much from an average teacher as a poor one will learn from a good teacher.

    I'd like to see a critical examination of Mr. Perry's 'success' with his theories; I'd like to know what resources he has because my experience is that one way 'private' schools enhance their scores is the luxury of picking the bright kids and dropping the slower ones.

    March 8, 2011 at 11:22 am |
  4. Greg

    Really?! We need a study to say that a good teacher will teach a student better than a bad one? Stop pissing away money on the obvious and give it to the students. Mr. Perry is very good at pumping up his own he said, "just because you have a degree, it doesn't make you a good anything"!

    March 7, 2011 at 3:12 pm |