Dave Shearon, another new-to-me education blogger and former school board member, is proposing a new way to judge whether classroom work is of high quality: return on student time (ROST). To rank high on this scale, assignments should result in the greatest quality of learning for the quantity of time invested. But, he notes, that ROST must be considered in conjunction with TTR – teacher time required.
Dave doesn’t give any details on how such an assessment might be implemented but it’s an interesting concept. I’m unsure where to begin the process, but he’s certainly on target when he says that we need better ways to discuss quality in the classroom than arguing over labels like "constructivist" or "progressive". In the end, however, many experienced teachers probably already have ROST figured out, even if they don’t use numerical values. Good teachers understand their subjects and their students and design lessons that make the best use of everyone’s time. Poor teachers just follow the script.