For a project we are working on at EWA, a colleague and I have been digging into a lot of research on teacher effectiveness. Tracking soundbites back to their source can be pretty easy in some cases: Sanders 1996! Hanushek 2005! But while collectively we think about this topic a massive amount, neither of us know what research, specifically, birthed the assertion that teachers are the biggest school factor in student achievement. Obviously we could get the answer in one phone call to the right person, but we would rather turn it into a contest. Those who answer correctly and first (there might be multiple answers) in the comments here will receive copies of new education books that I have already read but didn’t ruin in the tub or anything.
This whole thing got us thinking about other factoids—or possibly fictoids—that education writers are always trying to pin down, sometimes to no avail, sometimes from out-of-date sources. A third of all teachers leaving in three years, half leaving in five: this one comes up all the time. More?