04 November 2012

Evaluating teachers

Should teachers be evaluated based on their students’ test scores. I don’t know but I do know this:

They shouldn’t be evaluated on their students’ test scores unless they are given the freedom to choose how they do their job. If the state and district were focused primarily on enabling teachers, then we could discuss whether test scores are a valid way to measure their performance.

If the state and district are going to dictate how teachers teach, then it is the state and district that needs to be evaluated; not the teachers.

(i.e. If you dictate how they teach, then you should evaluate them on how well they follow those rules; not on the results of following those rules.)


Craig Weeks said...

Somewhere in the course of this program the question was posed: How much power does the classroom teacher really have? A pretty serious question.

This American Life: "Back to School"

Robert Fisher said...

It was, in fact, a comment in that show that prompted this post.

On the one hand, teachers do have the power to make a difference right now, and there are those who prove it every day.

On the other hand, it’s such a shame when people who are passionate about education become experts on the matter, choose it as a career over more lucrative options, and then have their hands tied by people who are not qualified and just playing politics. It’s not that we don’t know how to do it better. It’s that we don’t let the people who know make the decisions.