Why Female Professors Get Lower Ratings


Anne Boring, an economist and the lead author of the paper, was hired by her university in Paris, Sciences Po, to conduct quantitative analysis of gender bias. Through her conversations with instructors and students, she became suspicious of what she calls “double standards” applying to male and female instructors. Philip Stark, associate dean of the Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, is a co-author of the paper along with Kellie Ottoboni. “Trying to adjust for the bias to make SET ‘fair’ is hopeless,” says Stark, “(even if they measured effectiveness, and there’s lots of evidence that they don’t).” Boring acknowledges that “SETs can contain some information that can be valuable.” But, she adds, they are too biased to be used in a high-stakes way as a measure of teacher effectiveness.


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