Friday, December 23, 2016

CURMUDGUCATION: 12 Reasons To Evaluate Teachers

CURMUDGUCATION: 12 Reasons To Evaluate Teachers:

12 Reasons To Evaluate Teachers

Like giving students standardized tests, evaluating teacher is one of those things that the vast majority of people believe that you do because, well, of course you do. Reasons. You know. Federal policy has required it, and required it with fairly specific provisions, for the past few administrations. Reformsterism focused for quite some time on collecting teacher data in order to fix education. Meanwhile, plenty of principals will tell you that doing the teacher evaluation paperwork and observations and whatever is a big fat pain in their ass and they already know plenty about the people in their building and can they please get back to work on something useful now and they've already got twelve meetings today and no time, really, to go sit and listen to Mrs. McTeachalot run through a lesson about prepositions when they already know damn well how good a job Mrs. Teachalot does.

Recently both Fordham and Bellwether thinky tanks released reports on teacher evaluations. Bellwether focused more on teacher eval as a method of steering professional development, while Fordham focused on the old reformster question, "If we're evaluating teachers, why aren't we firing more of them?" There's a conversation between the two groups of researchers here at Bellwether that is semi-interesting, and reading it got me thinking again about the actual point of evaluating teachers.

Teacher evaluation has a variety of historic and theoretical purposes.

1) Identify bad teachers so you can fire them.

Some people remain convinced that you can fire your way to excellence. Other people (like NY Governor Cuomo) are dopes who think that if 50% of your students are failing the Big Standardized Test, 50% of your teachers must suck. This is dumb on so many levels, like assuming that a 20% 
CURMUDGUCATION: 12 Reasons To Evaluate Teachers:



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