Real Teacher Accountability
Reformsters repeatedly circle back around to the question of teacher accountability. If we give up evaluation system and test-based data and methods for turning professional development into a beautiful array of mini-competency-badges, they worry, how will we ever hold teachers accountable for doing a good job? How will taxpayers know they're getting their money's worth?
I know one good model for teacher accountability, a model that I can testify works, because it's the one I have worked with for almost forty years. It's simple, effective, and costs the school district nothing.
My school district is a small town/rural combo. We're based in a city of about 6,000 and encompass several contiguous townships. We have just over 1900 students enrolled, of whom a little over 50% are economically disadvantaged, spread over 188 square miles.
I graduated from the same high school I teach in. That was not the plan, exactly-- just how things kind of worked out. And like most (though not all) of my colleagues, I live within the district, a resident of the same town in which I grew up. Right in the city, in fact, across the street from the district's main office.
We have, of course, all the usual trappings of 'accountability," from an idiotic VAM system (PVAAS, in Pennsylvania) to a bad standardized test and an ever-morphing state model for how my principal is supposed to keep an eye on me. None of that is what keeps me honest. I would point to two CURMUDGUCATION: Real Teacher Accountability: