On Tuesday, New York state released data on statewide teacher ratings from the previous academic year. The ratings, which exclude New York City, show a wide disparity between teacher quality and student achievement.
Last year, 91.5 percent of New York state teachers were rated as "highly effective" or "effective." In contrast, only 31 percent of third-to-eighth graders were proficient in math and reading. In an editorial, the New York Post openly wonders why these two numbers are not more closely correlated:
Remember Garrison Keillor's popular radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion"? It was about life in the fictional town of Lake Wobegone, Wisconsin, a place where "men were men, women were women and all the children were above average."
Well, New York state seems to have become the anti-Lake Wobegone - where all our teachers are officially above average but most of our students are below.