Friday, March 16, 2012

On a scale of 1-10...

I recently read an article about publicly releasing teacher’s ratings for anyone to see.  When I think about the consequences of this action, there are negative and positive aspects that come to mind. For one, publicly releasing a teacher’s rating will allow the community to know if there hard-earned money is keeping poor-performing teachers with a job or rewarding those who are performing above and beyond. With that being said, it is questionable how exactly teachers are being rated. To put a major weight on standardized testing results to evaluate teachers can undermine advancements in the field of education. We presently live in a society where changing technologies require more diversified approaches to curriculum and assessment. To elevate teachers in such a way will be a step backwards because it will disengage and alienated students. Standardized test scores do not fully capture student learning, and measures of student growth do not represent many aspects of a teacher’s effectiveness. Some advocates argue that parents have a right to know if their child is in the class of a teacher who has been identified as ineffective. Similarly, parents might want to know if their child has been placed in the class of a particularly effective teacher. Teachers need to be treated as professionals, which means their privacy should be protected. Publicly releasing teachers’ evaluations with names attached has the potential to antagonize teachers and make them less willing to collaborate with districts and states in future reform efforts. Parents and the public have a right to know information about teachers, but teachers’ privacy needs to be protected.
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