Observations on life

How do we evaluate teachers

I think I’m savvy enough on this subject to understand that teaching to a test result is not learning and such a strategy can be unnecessarily stressful on children. But how do we measure the success of teaching and teachers if not with some objective measures?

Look at the article below, do you know of any job or any profession where 96% of workers are effective or highly effective? No employer would accept that measure of its employees.

Here is a profession that seeks tenure unlike virtually any other while opposing various forms of evaluation. How do we balance those positions and still assure ourselves that children are learning the skills they need? How do we evaluate fairly for both teachers and students?  Who are we fooling by making tests easier for students or teachers?

billy_bully_dunce_lg_clrThe failure of a given student is not all on the teacher; parents and family play a major role in my view. However, if you are testing a large group and proficiency is lacking something is wrong. When measuring proficiency in any subject shouldn’t at least 80% or more be an acceptable minimum standard ? Shouldn’t we be benchmarking against the best groups in the world and not within our states or even Country?

We must prepare our children to compete on a world-class level! AND WE ARE NOT DOING THAT.

Politicians cry over the middle class. Well, all the wealth transfer in the world is not going to help a middle-class that is unprepared for the world of the 21st century. Instead, we create a massive class of Americans getting nowhere and dependent on the relatively few who break out from the mediocre. 

What’s your view?

 In a bid to snag Race to the Top funds in 2010, New York adopted Common Core standards and re­quired that 20% of teacher eval­u­a­tions be based on stu­dent scores on state tests and an­other 20% on lo­cal ob­jec­tive mea­sures of stu­dent learning. Stu­dent scores on the tougher new tests plunged. Pro­fi­ciency dropped to 31% in read­ing and math in 2013 from 69% and 82%, re­spec­tively, in 2009.

Yet even as stu­dent measures plunged, lo­cal school dis­tricts in ca­hoots with the unions rigged eval­u­a­tions to en­sure that nearly all teach­ers got good marks. One tac­tic: Unions col­lec­tively bargained for eas­ier lo­cal tests to be part of their eval­u­a­tions. Lo, 96% of teach­ers statewide were rated “ef­fec­tive” or “highly ef­fec­tive” last year while only about a third of stu­dents passed state read­ing and math tests. Source: Wall Street Journal 12-28-15

As the NYT notes, in many cases a high school education has become a joke, not even qualifying students for the army. And graduation rates mean little if the students are allowed to graduate with no skills.

Congress understood this fundamental point, and kept the testing requirement, when it reauthorized the No Child Left Behind Act — now called the Every Student Succeeds Act — last month. But lawmakers ducked the most important problem: the fact that most states still have weak curriculums and graduation requirements that make high school diplomas useless and that leave graduates unprepared for college, the job market or even meeting entry requirements for the Army.

The costs associated with this problem are demonstrated in a recent report by Motoko Rich in The Times, which focused on Berea High School in Greenville, S.C., where the graduation rate has risen to 80 percent, from under 65 percent just four years ago. But college entrance exams given to 11th graders last year showed that only one in 10 students was ready for college-level reading and only about one in 14 was prepared for entry-level college math. On a separate job skills test, only about half of students demonstrated the math proficiency needed to succeed at most jobs.

Not prepared for college-level reading, reading‼️the most basic skill. 


1 reply »

  1. Maybe “we” should not evaluate teachers. Maybe the teachers should be evaluated to local standards by their supervision just like any other employee at any other company.

    Maybe we should stop insisting that every student must go to college. Maybe we should let some students fail. We should set a standard that states upon graduation from high school a student can read, write, and do math to a level if that cannot then they fail. If a student repeats two school years during their education then push them to an alternate path or make their parents pick up for the cost of extra tutoring. Alternate paths could be vocational schooling or teaching them other basic life skills such as basic banking math. The most important thing is if they do not earn a high school diploma, then call it something else. Stop lowering the standard to raise the graduation rates.

    As far as teachers go you will always have good teachers and bad teachers and tenure rules need to be changed to allow them to be removed from the classroom and that must be done by local supervision. It must be the local judgement of how the teacher / student interaction is and other local factors to determine if the teacher is reaching the students or not. But the social background and economic background will affect the students no matter how good the teacher is and only local judgement can factor this in, not a state wide testing program.

    We need to set a per student amount of money with regional adjustments to spend on education. We need to stop wasting extra money on education with no results. Throwing money at the problem is not working. Take the extra money and waste it on support programs to make sure that the kids show up at school, are fed, and have tutoring programs outside of school when the family support fails. Maybe the extra money should be used for adult night schools for students who did not want to do the high school work while in school so that they can earn their high school diploma but with some cost to themselves.

    Every student is different. Some students need to study for hours at night and other do not. Some students just need to fail. Some things are out of the teachers control and they should not be held accountable in the sense that they cannot control if a student wants to or is able to pay attention in class because of their home life. Maybe the students need to be held accountable. Maybe the parents need to be held accountable. If parents do not have the ability to help with homework due to skill level or having to work evenings then I am willing to support programs to help them but it would not be a blanket throw money at the problem and test scores will raise misbelief.

    I am sure that you could take the worst teacher from an inner city school and exchange them with a highly paid teacher from a exclusive private school and the individual teachers students test scores at each school will not change that much. I do not believe that the great test scores will transfer to the inner city school but I would like to see the research on that.


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