Rating teachers: Ruining the profession and running off good people

With teacher ratings becoming a reality, many people are expressing concerns about the impact on the profession. I read two great pieces this weekend that I want to share here. (Also, please read the column I ran Friday from a charter school principal in Atlanta about his concerns over the low value-added score given his school.)

In an op-ed in The New York Times, Deborah Kenny, chief executive and founding principal of Harlem Village Academies and the author of “Born to Rise: A Story of Children and Teachers Reaching Their Highest Potential,” joins the chorus of concern, noting that her charter school once dismissed a teacher whose students posted great scores on tests. But the teacher derided students and was so negative to be around that other teachers were considering quitting. Yet,  under rating models based largely on student scores, that teacher would have been rated at the very top, Kenny says.

Kenny — who calls herself an opponent of teacher tenure and runs a charter school network in Harlem where teachers work under at-will contracts — writes: (This is an excerpt. Please read the full piece before commenting.)

Education and political leaders across the country are currently trying to decide how to evaluate teachers. Some states are pushing for legislation to sort teachers into categories using unreliable mathematical calculations based on student test scores. Others have hired external evaluators who pop into classrooms with checklists to monitor and rate teachers. In all these scenarios, principals have only partial authority, with their judgments factored into a formula.

This type of system shows a profound lack of understanding of leadership. Principals need to create a culture of trust, teamwork and candid feedback that is essential to running an excellent school. Leadership is about hiring great people and empowering them, and requires a delicate balance of evaluation and encouragement. At Harlem Village Academies we give teachers an enormous amount of freedom and respect. As one of our seventh-grade reading teachers told me: “It’s exhilarating to be trusted. It makes me feel like I can be the kind of teacher I had always dreamed about becoming: funny, interesting, effective and energetic.”

Some of the new government proposals for evaluating teachers, with their checklists, rankings and ratings, have been described as businesslike, but that is just not true. Successful companies do not publicly rate thousands of employees from a central office database; they don’t use systems to take the place of human judgment. They trust their managers to nurture and build great teams, then hold the managers accountable for results.

In the same way, we should hold principals strictly accountable for school performance and allow them to make all personnel decisions. That can’t be done by adhering to rigid formulas. There is no formula for quantifying compassion, creativity, intellectual curiosity or any number of other traits that make a group of teachers motivate one another and inspire greatness in their students. Principals must be empowered to use everything they know about their faculty — including student achievement data — to determine which teachers they will retain, promote or, when necessary, let go. This is how every successful enterprise functions.

In an essay on Valerie Strauss’ Answer Sheet blog at the Washington Post, a Massachusetts teacher in an inner city elementary school writes about being upset over earning a low value-added score this year in the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System. Rebecca Cusick writes that she should know better as she is well versed on the flaws in the how such scores are generated. (And that’s why she didn’t want to accept accolades last year when she earned a very high score.)

Teacher Rebecca Cusick writes: (This is an excerpt. Please read the full piece before commenting.)

Most teachers understand how the composition of a class impacts their test scores. They know that children with special needs don’t have the chance to show their strengths on a bubble test. They know that English Language Learners get lost in the phrasing of the questions, and that homeless children don’t put tests high up on their priority list. They know that students who are frequently absent or changing schools have gaps in their learning.

But not all teachers know, as I do, about the voodoo math behind value-added scores. I’m aware of the flaws in the assessments, in the calculation of growth, and the collateral damage they cause. I devour articles and editorials that condemn the use of testing for high stakes decisions. So why do I, of all people, take this so personally when I should know better?

Maybe it’s because I gave it everything I’ve got. Last year’s class was needier than some of my previous groups. They shared stories of desperation that would prevent most adults from functioning well.  Sleeping on a floor in an over-crowded, rat-infested apartment, seeing a family member arrested, and looking forward to dinner at the soup kitchen; these are not the tales of an idyllic childhood.

I vowed to help them grow both academically and emotionally. I ran after school math and science clubs, and I started a food pantry for our families. Afraid to even take a sick day, I spent unprecedented amounts of time analyzing data and planning lessons. I showed fidelity to the new reading program, and I differentiated my instruction.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

100 comments Add your comment

Michael Goike

October 15th, 2012
10:51 am

Boo Hoo Hoo….get em all a crying towel to go with that whine! The status quo of letting a teacher teach and reach tenure and then never getting rid of them when they don’t perform has never worked! Look at Chicago teachers who just got a raise after their last strike even though less than 60% of high school students graduate. Go ahead blame the lack of parents, gangs, violence and unsafe streets, maybe even the easter bunny for giving out too much candy.

Teachers need to be evaluated and held accountable for their students not being ready for the next grade in school or life after school. They made a choice to teach, mentor young people and prepare them for the working world. If that is too hard for them GET ANOTHER JOB!!!!!

Cobb Math Teacher

October 15th, 2012
11:02 am

I do not care how you rate me as long as you change one thing–blacklisting a teacher who was ever let go. You talk about seniority being bad but teaching is the only profession I know of–there may be others that I am ignorant of–where the first time you are fired from a position is the last time you will ever work in that field. If you want teachers to be treated the same as private enterprise, allow us the opportunity to disagree with a climate or situation, be let go, and then move to a more or less favorable position somewhere else–independently interviewed and hired of course. This is not allowed in the teaching field and if you are ever fired even for a disagreement with your boss, you will never work in public education again.

abacus2

October 15th, 2012
11:03 am

When did tenure come to mean that teachers can’t be fired? Tenure protects teachers from arbitrary politics within a school. ANY teacher can be fired for cause. The problem is that many administrators are too lazy to do the documentation.

catlady

October 15th, 2012
11:06 am

It seems that it doesn’t matter what you give; more is expected.

Johnny Too Good

October 15th, 2012
11:18 am

No teacher should be punished or receive a negative evaluation becuz students and parents dont wanna learn or take their education seriously.
U want higher graduation rates and better schools? End compulsory education

Me

October 15th, 2012
11:22 am

I get so tired of hearing people complain about teachers unions. You know, a good portion of teachers are NOT in teachers unions. Many who are in them do it because it is a requirement, not because it an added perk to the job. The biggest problem with the school disticts across the country is that they don’t let the teachers teach anymore. Everyone from parents to the latest person to get a PHd and have a “brilliant idea” has input. It’s a constant “do this”,but “don’t do that”, “say this”, “but don’t say that”. Most teachers are so beat down after a few years that they just go with the flow to keep their jobs (talk about being bullied). I think it’s interesting how people get on blogs and blast teachers for doing what they are told to do at their jobs, yet they would never risk their OWN jobs going against what is in effect mandated of them. Oh and the priceless…”Get Another Job”, like it’s so easy to just hop from one job to another. Everyone is always a genius problem solver online. To bad the don’t get offline and share with the rest of the country.

Hillbilly D

October 15th, 2012
11:25 am

It seems that it doesn’t matter what you give; more is expected.

That’s been true of every job I’ve ever had, especially in the last 10 years or so. The more work you do, the more they put on you. That’s easier than making the slackers pull their weight.

Tonya C.

October 15th, 2012
11:36 am

Cobb Math Teacher:

Bravo. And I mean that seriously. Bravo. As an HR person, I have yet to see another field like teaching where you can get blacklisted so friggin easily. I have seen it up close and it is atrocious. It reeks of a vendetta nature.

Catlady:

Absolutely.

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

October 15th, 2012
11:40 am

I have said it before but I want to reiterate. Bubble tests of any sort are being taken away. The value added is more emotional than academic as Rebecca Cusick mentions in her post. And the emotional component is not a deficit model. PBIS, Positive Behavioral Incentive Systems, applies to all students and is coming in under the Response to Intervention, federal disabilities law jurisdiction. I am on the mailing list and got it the day it was sent out.

The teacher eval is to ensure compliance with this affective orientation for the classroom. You can be an ignoramus about the academic subject matter and still do well in the teacher eval. You can be the finest teacher in the world with a expert level of knowledge and unmatched abilities to teach it to your students. If you are lecturing about content, you will be graded poorly on the teacher eval.

Compliance is being expected from both students and teachers and principals too. Effective in education is yet another entry in Attentive Parent’s Glossary of Misleading Terms.

BehindEnemyLines

October 15th, 2012
11:40 am

All that whine, all that’s missing is government cheese to go with it. With so much dead weight feeding at the taxpayer’s trough already, it would only be appropriate.

northern neighbor

October 15th, 2012
11:46 am

I am more concerned whether we have a good mechanism for evaluating the performance of the superintendents and principals. If we have good leaders in the school system, they will make sure they have good teachers.

Jarod Apperson

October 15th, 2012
11:56 am

Teacher rating systems like the on Deborah Kenny opposes are the result of an effort to protect teachers from “school politics.” There is a trade off here. You can give Principals the authority to hire & fire teachers, but this introduces some fear that personal issues may influence the Principals choices. On the flip side, you can ask an “objective” evaluation system, but those systems end up being data driven. Most professionals deal with some level of politics in their work environments. By trying to avoid this dynamic at all costs, I think teachers have backed themselves into a corner of test-based evaluations. Teachers should advocate for more power to be given to local principals. Better to have a little bit of politics than an “objective” system you don’t think accurately measures your ability/performance.

WhiteRabbit

October 15th, 2012
11:59 am

There are some real teacher-haters on here who ought to be at the bottom of a well.

dc

October 15th, 2012
12:05 pm

waiting for the teachers who complain about being evaluated based on what their kids learn (tests, you know, that instrument that teachers have used since the beginning of time as the best possible measure for what kids have learned) to come out with their alternative plan. Oh, it’s already there??? My buddy the AP watches me for 1 hour, I’m on my absolute best behaviour, and I get my gold star….seriously?

I love how it’s OK to measure a student based on test scores, but “its not FAIR” to measure the person paid to teach those children the same way.

As I’ve said before, thank goodness most teachers don’t think the same way that this whining minority of teachers do.

concerned

October 15th, 2012
12:11 pm

It doesn’t matter how teachers reply to the new evaluation process no one inside or outside of education cares. Teachers have been left behind in the terminal ward. When a teacher voices concern it is perceived as whining and complaining. What people fail to realize is pretty soon there will not be very many great teachers left in public school. They will leave and take their years of experience and dedication to a job that will care. But who cares…right?

Teachers do not get to choose their students. When students enter their classroom in the fall they MUST take them even if they are two or more grade levels behind in reading and/or math. They MUST teach them the new standards even if they do not have the skill level to master them. They MUST make gains from the previous years test scores from the previous years class of students. It doesn’t matter that the new group makes gains it only matters that their class test scores are better than the previous. If you think that if fair then you really don’t understand the problem and you won’t listen to reason as to why this is wrong.

Old Physics Teacher

October 15th, 2012
12:14 pm

In addition to Cobb Math Teacher complaints: If you want to have us respond as if we were in the private sector, then pay us what the private sector gets paid!! I left a comparable job – corporate trainer which, in today’s market, pays from $65k to $140k for a 40 hour week + expenses + 2 to 6 weeks vacation + bonuses + plus a 401k. I’ll be glad to put the additional 60k in my own private “pension.” Now I do have to “teach” a board of execs annually to keep that job. That’s my evaluation, because I’m rated on my teaching – NOT MY STUDENTS’ LEARNING! I have no control over what or how much the employee learns. If they don’t learn THEY are fired, not me.

All you complainers about teachers, are you willing to pony up the additional cost for this? I thought not.

ABC

October 15th, 2012
12:17 pm

Ok, so they don’t want to be evaluated on tests, because, well…the fact that a student could do poorly on a test is not at all due to bad teaching; oh noes, it is always the environment, the home, the culture, the gangs, what ever the diddly eff. So no, can’t hold teachers responsible there.

They don’t want to be evaluated by observation or parent surveys or peer reports or any kind of “objective” criteria, because the fact that they might fare poorly can’t be their own bad teaching; oh noes, it has to be the principal’s vendetta, the parents’ not caring, or the parents caring too much. So no, can’t hold teachers accountable that way either.

So tell me teachers, at the end of the day you want NO accountability whatsoever right? Nothing to hold you to performance right? Nothing that could POSSIBLY motivate you to do well right? Despite the fact that we trust you each day for 8 hours with our most precious possessions.

EVERYONE gets evaluated over things they have no control of. EVERYONE has to deal with politics and crappy bosses. Time you learn how to do that too.

Teachers are not the ones in charge

October 15th, 2012
12:17 pm

How about evaluating the school system’s highly paid administrators – would they be willing to lose their jobs if students don’t learn and improve according to some random, politically motivated series of metrics?

dc

October 15th, 2012
12:18 pm

old physics…i suspect that job left you. those jobs don’t exist anymore, and the companies who used to offer them have either gone out of bankruptcy or woken up to the fact that they were way overpaying for that position. I have the utmost of respect for what good teachers do (and will be the first to say bad ones should be fired). But everyone with a job works after hours and weekends these days. Most of the rest of us don’t have summers and spring and winter break off.

Teachers are not underpaid. The only folks who think that are teachers, and those who haven’t actually thought through the actual numbers. What they are is under recognized…meaning when everyone gets paid the same, then there is no incentive to perform. And over time, even the best teachers just give up in that environment.

A Teacher

October 15th, 2012
12:24 pm

Mr. Goike-

I invite you to come into my classroom. Work feverishly everyday with my students. Love them, nurture them, teach them, and challenge them. See all of their growth throughout the year. Then, in April, adminster the CRCT test and see a completely different snapshot of their hard work. Until then, please don’t insult the teaching profession with your naive perspective.

Teaching a class of students who are reading two to three years below grade level does not allow me to put too much stock into a test of over 100 pages, written on and above grade level. For some, the test is read to them, but others, they are given this test when they SIMPLY will not be able to show all of their growth. It does not show their hard work or progress.

I am tired of so many people judging teachers. It has gotten overwhelmingly frustrating. Come on in, see what we do everyday. I invite you! You seem to know how to teach far better than any of us, so come on! Where are you?

Private Citizen

October 15th, 2012
12:32 pm

@ Michael Goike, Respectfully(?) you are entirely clueless about the effect of caste system. Chicago Public Schools 84 percent low income students. Quit school and work so mama can have groceries? Sounds good to me. Go to college and take on life crushing debt? Not a good idea. I know one person who left high school, then got a G.E.D., then an econ degree and then went to law school and got his “degree” there. It might seem abstract, but I think upper tier / age high school students should have the right to quit school without being used as a political object. I left high school a year early. It was time for me to move on and I felt nothing in common with sitting around through senior year. The end was in sight and I took it. I’ve met a few students who needed to have a job and driving a delivery truck more than they needed to be in the classroom. The WW2 bunch, “the greatest generation” routinely left home early to go and work.

indigo

October 15th, 2012
12:33 pm

This kind of evaluation thinking will result in a large group of good people leaving and an even larger group of incompetent people entering the teaching profession because they can’t find work anywhere else.

Jaynie

October 15th, 2012
12:37 pm

In reply to DC and others complaining about teachers, you need to try being a teacher first. It is an outstanding effort by most teachers under some pretty poor working conditions. If you are in a private sector job at any skill level whatsoever, you may be doing some weekend or afterhours work, but you are not supplying your own work materials to do that work. You are not listening to some parent complain because her little apple dumpling could not possible have failed to be respectful, just because he or she spit on you is no reason for that little apple dumpling to be reprimanded. If you are in the private sector, your pay is dependent on many things not least of which is the performance of your business as a whole, no on some political whim when a state government decides to cut education budgets, but decide to build a fishing museum. I feel for those teachers who are giving it their all, but get absolutely no respect from the likes of DC, ABC, Behind Enemy Lines. As far as summers off, so what. Most folks get paid vacation that they can take anytime, not just in the summer.

Shar

October 15th, 2012
12:38 pm

The bitter absurdity here is not that Ms. Cusick is being evaluated by some unfeeling objective criteria. She, as so many of the above posters have mentioned, has to expect to be evaluated according to some supervisors’ set of priorities and values, just like the rest of us do.

The blistering stupidity is that she finds herself trying to teach around, and compensate for, her students’ “stories of desperation” that clearly interfere with their ability to concentrate on the content she is charged with delivering. Where is social services? Where are the parents? Where are the interventions that are needed before these kids can even attempt to reach class levels?

No one asks a social worker to teach algebra, and social workers are not graded on whether or not a child in their care can successfully navigate a+b=c. State policies need to be changed to either gauge Ms. Cusick’s (and others’) effectiveness based on what she is actually trying to deliver or put social workers in schools to take this load off teachers and get these “desperate” kids the food, care and support they need. Inevitably, Ms. Cusick’s not-so-desperate students must have been held back or received little of her attention as she worked so hard to do the jobs that parents and social service professionals should have been doing, but sloughed off onto her.

If parents are unhappy with the reduced attention and held back learning of the more-able students in classes like Ms. Cusick’s, and teachers are resentful (as she clearly is) of being downgraded because they are devoting their efforts to salvaging the neediest of the students, classroom management has to change. Taxpayers have a right to have the best education delivered in public classrooms and parents have a right to demand reasonable proportionality of a teacher’s efforts across a class group.

Social service professionals should be stationed in schools like Ms. Cusick’s to permit her to teach and to ensure that the neediest kids are not supported haphazardly (as must happen when a teacher tries to take this on) but concertedly by the appropriate area specialists.

Greg Kaiser

October 15th, 2012
12:40 pm

A Teacher,

A nice response to Mr. Goike’s uninformed opinion.

As an aside, I encourage all posters to use your actual names. To not do so undercuts the legitimacy of whatever opinions you express or comments you make.

Have A Smile! ☺☻

October 15th, 2012
12:43 pm

We live in a country where good teachers can be fired for having a nice picture of them enjoying a well-deserved glass of wine on Facebook, courteous of self-righteous cowardly snitches & dumba$$ administrators.

I don’t even know where to begin! I sure won’t sit here and be an armchair critic of teachers. I can’t imagine the crap they deal with.

RJ

October 15th, 2012
12:44 pm

All of this crap is most definitely pushing folks out the door. My neighbor recently shared with me that she took a 50% cut in pay to teach. She really always knew that where her heart was. Well, now she’s itching to get back into the corporate world after 6 years of teaching. She’s disgusted with the expectations and treatment of teachers. She’s not even complaining about the pay, just the ridicuous workload. I look forward to moving on. This profession doesn’t respect those of us that give 110% daily. Just be quiet and do what you’re told. No unions here, so we don’t really have much of a voice without losing our jobs.

Woody

October 15th, 2012
12:45 pm

Let’s see: “we should hold principals strictly accountable for school performance and allow them to make all personnel decisions.” Well, on the face of it this sounds OK, but wasn’t that what was driving the cheating scandal? Principals were threatened with their jobs unless they elevated performance measures, so they made ‘personnel decisions’ that made sure teachers willing to cheat were retained, and teachers unwilling to go along were pressured out. Maybe we should stand back and think all of this over a little more. But as for the topic of today’s question, I doubt that good teaching is measurable. Do the kids like the teacher? That should be the question being asked.

Dina

October 15th, 2012
12:46 pm

Dear Georgia Parents,

ALEC is at work in this state and many others. Teachers/schools must be vilified so they can be replaced with for-profit schools. Beware the evaluation efforts….and many other things.

Fulton County Schools….now a “Charter System”……is referring to students as: CUSTOMERS.
What does that tell you? Please stop the bickering about teachers….understand what is at stake here….put your energy into fighting these efforts.

Grandpa

October 15th, 2012
12:47 pm

Teachers are rarely the whole problem, or even part of the problem. There is a strong and direct correlation between kids who are less prepared for the next level or out-right fail and the level of support and preparation they get at home. The deck is stacked against teachers today. Parents are really the ones who are responsible for their childrens education.

Private Citizen

October 15th, 2012
12:48 pm

@ ABC, “So tell me teachers, at the end of the day you want NO accountability whatsoever right? Nothing to hold you to performance right?”

You’re buying the crack big power is selling you. For starters lay off the all/everything generalization talk. I realise you may be a newbie to looking at these issues. If the highway is designed wrong, do you stop and yell at the guys with the dump trucks and shovels? That’s what you’re doing. In the USA, right now, the support materials for teachers and disorganized or non-existent. It is really a wise-guy routine to do all of this overt testing in an environment that is so lacking in consistent support materials. Right now there are lot of “guidelines” i.e. standards that teachers are supposed to apply. The result is lots of individual teachers struggling like mad, each having to invent their own way to meet these “guidelines.”

So ABC, your view is too simple and you’re blaming the wrong people. In a government school system, teachers should not have to work each in isolation and each having to invent their own methods and supplies out of necessity. The result is predictable, uneven and discoordinated and yes, a few “miracle and “superman” successes occur, but it is very hard on most workers and I mean the capable ones. Going into a factory and celebrating the few wunderkind and then abusing the rest of the workers is not good management. Telling the public to blame the non-wunderkind workers is not good management.

A story. Once I was in a hallway and a student had been put out of class and was sitting in a desk in the hallway and had a math book open. I was walking by and as sometimes is my habit, I made a comment to the student, briefly asked them what was up, and encouraged them to forget their care, come back to earth on what was bothering them, etc. (to let them know they are not in isolation)(usually when a student is put out of class, they are steamed up about something). While talking to the student, I looked at their math book and presentation of concepts in the book and I said to myself, “OMG that’s the worst textbook I’ve ever seen in my life.” The one page I looked at was written in a confusing way. Maybe it was “new math” or something. Maybe I need to apply for a grant and start evaluating this stuff.

Private Citizen

October 15th, 2012
12:55 pm

@Woody, You’ve answered your own question on what was driving the test score cheating scandal, “Principals were threatened with their jobs.” There were also financial incentives for the individuals at the central office.

Private Citizen

October 15th, 2012
1:12 pm

@Shar, It is my opinion that not having universal health care for all citizens is causal in schools having to have so much requirement for social workers and associated issues. It is distracting in the school house when the school has to play doctor as well as educator. FYI, USA is the only 1st world country that does not have health care for all of its citizens. The only one. Every other western country, every single one of them, has health care coverage for all of its citizens. Japan, Germany, Canada, Italy, France, Britain, Ireland, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, every modern western country outside of the USA has a health care system for every citizen. It’s the difference in being a 1st world and a 2nd world country. And yes, in the USA low income government kids, you have a portion of freaked-out kids from freak-out families with very much for-real freaked out problems. Personally and candidly, I do not like teaching kids who do not have eyeglasses. It really gets on my nerves.

bubba

October 15th, 2012
1:16 pm

One objective criteria that should be used to evaluate teachers:

Amount of time spent during the school day whining on blogs

as DC above says:
” thank goodness most teachers don’t think the same way that this whining minority of teachers do.”

Private Citizen

October 15th, 2012
1:21 pm

Teacher unions? Real teacher unions with real power? The states that have them perform better. Documented.

Halftrack

October 15th, 2012
1:36 pm

What is the % per centage of students that have to take remedial courses at college entrance? Can these students comprehend English. Since word problems in math & algebra have disappeared from schools, students much more difficulty than in prior years. If we look at some street polls, college students don’t know who their elected leaders are in government. We have no pride in who we are as a nation. Today, less that 20% of people getting a PHD are Americans and the other percentile come from foreign countries. Go figure.

Another comment

October 15th, 2012
1:54 pm

@ Cobb math teacher my daughter was at Campbell High School when Grant Rivera misused the RIF a couple of years ago to fire 10 of 17 Math teachers. He then promptly reported 8 of the 10 positions which he filled will his buddies male and female from South Cobb. The community was completely outraged and fought back. Two of the math teachers were to of the best teachers the school had. The one my daughter had was tough, but you learned the math. If you got a B you knew the Math. Luckily, the two best had the community rally around them and won their jobs back. One of the teachers that was rifted was so pissed was in his 3rd year he told me he was not going to lower himself to reapply to Cobb. He went don’t to Bibb to teach and is working on a real doctorate to teach in college.

My daughter ended up with one of Rivera’s choosen few from South Cobb, in two weeks they had no homework in math , but somehow she had an A. Then I was informed she was going to be moved for over crowding, they wanted to put her with another replacement. I said no, if she is going to be moved put her with Mr. M, the teacher who won his job back. He was aghast that my daughter had no homework for 2 weeks. He made her make it up. She ended up with a B, but she knew the Math. Jr.year she loved math and was way ahead the other kids, thanks to Mr.M. Who she Plans to ask for college references because she feels he made a difference in her education. She is now scoring higher on Math on SAT than other sections opposite her PSAT score.

Why is it that teachers are ruined but Principals, Administrators and Supt. go from county to county?

dc

October 15th, 2012
1:57 pm

Seriously, Jaynie, I need to be a teacher first, before having thoughts as to what do do about our worst schools? Do you really believe that? Then I guess you believe that only ex-military should be allowed to be president (you know…Commander in chief, since clearly only an ex military person would be expected to “understand” soldiers). Honestly, you can’t really believe that.

And I’m seriously baffled at the fact that none of the folks complaining about the value added eval method can come up with any other approaches that make sense.

Another comment

October 15th, 2012
2:01 pm

There also seems to be no diffraction from those who ran into the pricks of principals of those who were sexual predators, but the county different have another.

I know of an English/ special Ed teacher who was having sex with high school seniors last spring and then rewarding them with fake ID’s. But he left the district so unless they get enough criminal information for the DA to prosecute, he will hend up at another school. Meanwhile several students were bought booze with the fake ID and arrested with MIPS’s

Private Citizen

October 15th, 2012
2:05 pm

re: eyeglasses. As a teacher you can’t do anything about it and it is terrible watching kids suffer. Goes like this. Refer to school nurse. School nurse checks and documents, sends letter to the home. End of story, nothing happens.

Jaynie

October 15th, 2012
2:48 pm

Being president does not require military experience, but you better know who go to for information and support if you don’t have military experience and you are the president. If teachers don’t get support from parents and their version of upper management, how can they be held accountable. A lot of folks think they could go right into the classroom, teach, be effective and be evaluated by other folks that don’t know anything about teaching. Not all teachers are good at their jobs, but not all of them are bad either the way a lot of folks seem to think from some of these comments.

bubba

October 15th, 2012
2:50 pm

Jaynie:
So how do you determine these: “Not all teachers are good at their jobs”

Tom Thomas

October 15th, 2012
3:24 pm

Close the closes and hand out vouchers. Fulton Co. has an annual budget of 1.3 billion dollars. All I know is we are not getting 1.3 billion dollars worth of education. Each school gets about 9 grand per kid. Hand each parent 9 grand per kid and let them go to ANY school they want, even if it is a ‘non accredited’ school. My kid will do fine under that system. The kids who are getting a crappy education in their local schools WILL NOT BE ANY WORSE OFF. Close the damn schools and hand out vouchers.

WhiteWolf of the Bones

October 15th, 2012
3:31 pm

Everyone gets their panties all in a wad with each thing that comes down the education pike…but everyone ignores the real story. Education as we knew it is dead and gone, buried for good. The whole point of education now is to turn out ignorant, willing slaves. Robin Eubanks knows this, and has done the research to prove it. Invisibleserfscollar.com. Check it out for yourselves.

If you want your child educated, it is up to you to make sure that happens. Regardless of what the school systems are doing. Monitor what they doing, what they are learning, and counter the propaganda. Good books must be read. Educational shows on TV must be watched. Discussions with your children must be had. Constantly watch, and intervene. What they are getting in the schools this year has changed drastically, and Common Core has nothing ‘common’ about it. Common sense is what is needed, but that is sorely lacking in all areas of government. Save your own children’s minds…I guarantee the school system is not going to do it. Yes, we still have good teachers, but we won’t have them for long under the systems now in place…and that is the intent. Can’t have good willing slaves without teachers willing to teach under that system. And good teachers recognize what is happening and know they won’t be tolerated for long.

And you wonder why many of us are for charter schools? Not so we can enrich the pockets of those who are jumping on the bandwagon for the big bucks…but so we can at least have some pockets of resistance. Some of these charters will actually teach our children well, and the knowledgeable parents will make sure of that.

Private Citizen

October 15th, 2012
3:31 pm

@ Tom Thomas, Do a search for term “belgium school voucher system.”

Private Citizen

October 15th, 2012
3:34 pm

Vouchers and Voucher-like Programs in
European and OECD Countries

Country Mechanism
Australia Assistance to private schools
Belgium Students choose among public schools and “free” schools (Catholic)
Canada Capitation grants and assistance to private schools
Czech Republic Assistance to private schools
England Assistance to private schools
France Private schools (Catholic) receive subsidies from government
Holland National, universal voucher
Hungary Parental financing to their choice of public and private schools
Japan Assistance to private schools
Netherlands Capitation grants
New Zealand Higher unit level of funding for poorer students
Poland Assistance to private schools
Scotland Students choose among public schools
Spain Pre-school voucher experiment
Sweden Capitation grants, school choice in some municipalities
United States Voucher experiments: public, private, charter schools
__________________

Guess which one country on the list does not have universal health care for its citizens?

Richard

October 15th, 2012
3:41 pm

Michael Goike- Bravo, I LOLLED out loud. Its so funny, and so true. Teachers need to be evaluated, by students.

AlreadySheared

October 15th, 2012
3:54 pm

Ms. Kenny’s article conflates evaluating teachers with treating them as low-level, highly scripted employees. Those two things are not the same.

Measuring the learning outcomes of a teacher’s students is not the same as making teaching such a tightly controlled process that no intelligent person would want to do it.

teacher

October 15th, 2012
3:58 pm

teachers should be rated and evaluated just like in any profession. However they should be rated or evaluated using the current flawed methods.
Specially in the inner city poor public schools in Atlanta, thuggish gangsta administration ( yes i am talking about APS) use the current observation and evaluation system as a vindictive tool to kick out teachers they dont like. Oh the PDP ( professional development plan) tool is completely misused as a way to shaft teachers they dont like.
If the state of georgia truly wants to use an effective tool to rate teachers then they need to look at England and Finland. Teacher evaluations and even in class observations are handled outside of the school system by a state agency who have no axe to grind except to be objective evaluators. Oh also in England and Finland they use sophisticated video observation for teacher rating and teacher quality improvement. What good is teacher rating(s) if you cannot give the teacher specifics on what and how to improve.

Centrist

October 15th, 2012
4:02 pm

(Some) teachers and liberal bloggers sniveling about concerns of rating teachers is an old story. Other than government/civil service evaluations which seldom have meaning, job holders are always subject to evaluation. Evaluation is a valuable tool to find the exceptional, spot those who have areas that could be improved, and (horrors) weed out the incompetent.