Is meaningful teacher evaluation a bad thing?


CT Mirror reported that:

Only two hours after Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed into law a compromise education reform bill to nearuniversal applause, a disagreement erupted at the State Department of Education over how to implement a provision on evaluating teachers.

At issue is how much students’ performances on standardized tests will count when grading teachers. The new reform package relies on linking tenure and dismissal decisions to a new state-created teacher evaluation system.

“We are going to have an evaluation system that actually means something,” Malloy said Tuesday afternoon, before signing the bill to the applause of administrators, teacher union leaders and others at the state Capitol. [....]

I commend Gov. Malloy for standing up for our future; namely, the education of our all of our youth and not just some. What really gets me annoyed is the notion that students in underserved communities are too difficult and teachers in their schools find it impossible to teach them, while being paid nicely for that inability. My response, “What are your doing there?” Don’t get me wrong. I believe in teachers and unions. But accountability is crucial. When I was a voice teacher in a private setting, if our students failed, it was our fault. We were the adults in the room, not them. It was up to us to find a way to open up our students’ inner talent and bring it out so that they could fully blossom. If our response to our students’ failure was that they are unable or not ready to learn, we were invited to find another job.

I’ll bet if someone did a survey of businesses in the area and asked what their response would be if any of their employees failed to be successful in their respective duties and blamed it on their clients, the response would be the same — get another job.

I grew up with a work ethic that said do your best, your name is on your work, make it mean something of value. I hope that instead of fighting Gov. Malloy’s efforts for accountability and fixing a problem that is directly causing the dismantling of the public school system, all those involved in the education system, along with parents and guardians, will unite and focus on achieving total success for their charge — our future, our youth.

Where’s the pride of success, the confidence of one’s expertise in a state where teachers are paid more than any other? We need to replace the attitude of “Here’s the rules. Here’s the information that will be on the test. Get it all right or you will fail,” with “Join me on a journey that will open your heart and mind to a your inner talent and together we’ll enjoy tremendous success and happiness.”

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3 comments

  1. “I’ll bet if someone did a survey of businesses in the area and asked what their response would be if any of their employees failed to be successful in their respective duties and blamed it on their clients, the response would be the same — get another job.”

    I’d bet (and win) that if you asked businesses which is more important: a worker who can pass a state exam or a worker who can problem solve/think critically/collaborate/communicate/show respect, the businesses would NOT say “pass a test”.

  2. I find myself leary of discussions of “education reform” and “teacher evaluation” because of the rhettoric from the right that casts teachers as the enemy and public schools as a communist plot. That’s why posts like this and efforts like those in Connecticut are important. The fact is that we do need education reform and we do need to evaluate teachers. Those are tasks that need to be undertaken in defense of our schools, so it would stand to reason that it should be the staunchest defenders of education leading the charge.

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