Are We Over-Measuring Teachers and Doctors?

OVER-MEASURING WORK? You can’t fix or understand what you don’t measure. So goes the conventional thinking among nearly every businessman, consultant and investor. But a New York Times op-ed by UC San Francisco professor, Robert M. Wachter, suggests that the obsession with measurement—and the quest to find causal relationships—may be incentivizing the wrong outcomes for doctors and teachers. “Our businesslike efforts to measure and improve quality are now blocking the altruism, indeed the love,” he writes, “that motivates people to enter the helping professions.”

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