Do U.S. Teachers Really Teach More Hours?

A new study says U.S. teachers still lead the world in time spent in front of a class—but not as much as everyone thinks.

New Analysis Casts Doubt On Oft-Cited US Teaching-Time Statistic.

Education Week (2/4, Sparks) reports that a new analysis released by the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education indicates that the “striking statistic” indicating that “US teachers are in front of their classes 50 percent to 73 percent more than their peers in other countries”–which “has become common wisdom as part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s regular Education at a Glance reports”– has been over-reported. The piece reports that US teachers “still lead the world in instructional time,” but the new analysis “finds their edge considerably slimmer.”

Kathryn Baron writes about this study at the Education Week (2/3) “Time and Learning” blog, noting that researcher Samuel E. Abrams “blames the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for releasing bad data that academics and journalists have repeated without verifying its accuracy.” Abrams argues that this has led to false comparisons and “mistaken conclusions about how to improve America’s public education and the actual differences in teacher salaries.”


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