The BIG QUESTION : How do you evaluate which teacher did better?

In Uncategorized on November 10, 2008 at 6:40 pm

How do you evaluate which teacher did better? Do you base it on standardized tests? In that case teachers will have no choice but to teach to the test. What about a teacher who has 30 students in a class being compared to a teacher with 15 students? What about teachers with high numbers of students with IEPs who may have issues with leaning and testing? Do you base merit pay on grades? In that case we will have such ridiculous grade inflation that an “A” from Ridgewood will be meaningless and valueless. Before we argue about Merit Pay, perhaps someone should suggest a system that is at least better than the test and punish system that NCLB became. Find solutions, not just alternatives.

The Body Shop - PWP

  1. Find solutions, not just alternatives.

    No, we’d rather complain endlessly about supposed problems with RPS.

  2. Privatize the schools system and let schools decide how much they pay teachers, if they decide to pay teachers unfairly the good ones can move up to better schools leaving their schools behind so the system can’t be corrupted. The best schools will be of the highest demand thus will cost more and their teachers will be paid more. Bad schools will cost less an will pay less. Make law that at least x% of tuition must go to teacher salary so the school doesn’t keep all of it. Let talent weed itself out. We should not decide who is good and who is bad, the schools must decide on that or face monetary consequences.

  3. You grade the same way as you do BLOGS… just as confusing.

  4. How do you evaluate which teacher did better?

    Are you kidding me?

    How do the millions of businesses out there who provide numerous products and services (even those providing services to individuals – such as nurses and therapists where a superior performance may not necessarily reflect consistent progress in the individuals they serve) evaluate their employees?

    The fact that this question is even being asked is part of the problem.

    You are NOT evaluating “which teacher did better”. You are evaluating how well each individual teacher performed their job.

    How do you evaluate which teacher did better?

    If evaluating the quality of a teacher is so hard, how come EVERY TEACHER in the district knows which teachers are “good” and which teachers are “bad”?

    How do you evaluate which teacher did better?

    If evaluating the quality of a teacher is so hard, how come EVERY PARENT in the district knows which teacher they want their child to get as they move into a new grade?

    How do you evaluate which teacher did better?

    How about (for a start) we use the EXISTING Teacher review process.
    Each year every teacher gets observed by their superiors at least 2 or 3 times. Then a formal review is written up about the teacher including a scale (i.e. 0-5, 0-10, etc.) indicating HOW THE TEACHER PERFORMED in each job area. There is also room for a written description of what they did well and what they need to improve. Scores are totaled and an overall performance rating is arrived upon.

    To those of you who are not teachers, this may look familiar to you since it just like the performance reviews you are familiar with getting your entire career.

    The only difference is that your boss “observes” you every day and you also have a section that says what salary increase and bonus or promotion that you will receive.

    How do you evaluate which teacher did better?


    Just do what you are already doing, but make the process relevant by rewarding the good teachers and firing the bad ones.

  5. I suspect that the way one would evaluate which teacher did better is the same why they are currently evaluating teachers. My husband has taught for the last 25 years in Passaic County. His performance as an educator is periodically evaluated and he is required to pursue continuing education credits.

  6. Ask the parents and students. Seems that the recipients of the services know which teachers are better performers and which ones are total failures.

    How come they are NEVER even considered to be part of the equation when evaluating teachers?

    Could it be that public schools have become entities that no longer serve individual students but, rather, serve teachers and administrators at the expense of students?

    Could it be?

  7. This sarcastic term, “teaching to the test,” is an excuse for putting up with poor teachers.

    It never ceases to amaze me how this phrase is bandied about as if knowing what is on the test is somehow a bad thing.

    If one teaches the subject well, the test will be easy for the students.

    It is not like the material on the test is alien to the curriculum. For Pete’s sake, the tests are so dumbed down that it is hard to fathom how our teachers couldn’t meet the minimum transference of knowledge to their students so as to ensure that they pass.

    The tests, test what a student should have been taught by his/her teacher.

    It is the most reliable way to determine if the subject is being properly taught.

    This “teaching to the test” complaint is like the vilifying of the drill and skill method of memorization – calling it “drill and kill.”

    How clever of the educrats but parents have caught on and aren’t buying it any more.

  8. PJ – Can you please post this? It appeared in the 7 November 2008 Ridgewood News.

    Letter to the Editor of the Ridgewood News

    7 November 2008

    Math Team Doesn’t Add Up

    Why the lack of balance in the choice of external advisors to the Mathematics Planning Team charged with unifying K-5 math curricula in Ridgewood Public Schools (RPS)? Perhaps the outcome is pre-determined, since the controversial program ‘Connected Mathematics’ is already being implemented in our middle schools.

    The four external advisors are Ms. Schultz of Montclair State, Dr. Rosenstein of Rutgers, Mr. Daro of Berkley, and Dr. Posamentier of City College. Schultz, Rosenstein, and Daro have made careers of promoting ‘reform math’ including TERC and Everyday Math. The resulting lack of mathematical skill and fluency has sent scores of Ridgewood parents to Kumon, tutors, and various other supplementary curricula.

    Rosenstein is only advisor that can be considered a mathematician. However in the words of Prof. James Milgram of Stanford University, one of the country’s leading mathematicians who is also working on issues in math education, Rosenstein “hasn’t been active in mathematics since the 1970s. In view of his very strong preference for reform curricula, a view shared by far fewer than 1% of the professional mathematicians
    in this country, it is inappropriate for him to be the only ‘mathematician.’”

    Milgram continued “Daro has been central in at least two of the biggest failures out there, the 1992 California Math Standards that precipitated the math wars, and the current Georgia Math Standards. As far as I can tell he knows very little mathematics.”

    There is reason to be hopeful that Posamentier will provide moderation. According to Milgram “Posamentier is very level headed. I trust his judgment.”

    Reform math isn’t all bad – It has many good ideas that now supplement traditional math textbooks, consistent with recommendations of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel. However, it appears that the math-fad pendulum will remain nailed to the extreme in RPS unless Dr. Posamentier can moderate the others.

    John G. Sheehan, Ph.D.

  9. 6:45- because if you leave teacher evaluation to parents and/or students, what is to stop someone with an axe to grind from purposely sabotoging the livelyhood of a teacher? It could be disastrous. There would be little or no control over the contents of a personnel file. Currently, I am evaluated by my supervisor (who has a knowledge of my subject area) as well as my building principal. Both are educated in the area of pedagogy and are extremely familiar with the pre-adolescent/adolescent age with whom I work.
    We do not teach willy nilly, with no higher power to answer to or without checks and observations. My best observer, however, is the student that has me as a teacher daily, that is true. I would hate to think though, at that age, of them commenting or critiquing my strategies. Most of the time, they do not even know that a certain strategy is being implemented or the reasoning behind the structuring of a lesson.

  10. 5:11 –

    You seem to place high value on the current performance review process and on the qualifications of the individuals performing the reviews.

    Do you think the review process is fair and accurate?

    Do you want your salary based on your performance review?

    Do you want your continued employment based upon your salary review?

    Do you support all teachers having their salary and continued employment based upon how they perform – as reflected in their performance review?

  11. 10:32- Good questions.
    1. Yes, I think it is fair. As for accurate, fairly so. How can one accurately assess learning that goes on by observing 1 or 3 lessons, but it is as accurate as can be while still being convenient and having minimal disruption.

    2.Yes, I would like my salary to be based on my reviews, as a matter of fact.

    3. I am non-tenured, so my continued employment IS indeed based upon my reviews. A common misconception,though, is that tenured teachers cannot be fired. This is simply not true. They can be brought up on tenure charges and can most certainly be fired. It just requires more effort on the part of the administration, but I have seen it done in the 7 years I have been teaching.

    4. This is a difficult question. How would you base this salary? Solely on observations and evaluations done by administration? I dont think it is the be all and end all assessment of my teaching. Are you going to use my students acheivement on standardized tests? My subject area has none. Are you going to use my student grades? How could I then grade as impartially as I do? This is much harder to quantify.

    A teacher and a resident

  12. Let’s just say that I couldn’t disagree more with the teacher afraid of student/parent evaluations.

    Client evaluations are done all the time.

    For the odd student or parent that has an “ax to grind,” wouldn’t it seem obvious to any administrator that it was an anomaly? Kinda like throwing out the high and low score to find the average, wouldn’t you say?

    Now, if there were a high percentage of parents and students “with an ax to grind,” then one would have to conclude there is reason.

    If you are a good teacher and parents and students respect you, then you have nothing to fear.

  13. Client evaluations, I assume, are done by adults. My students are children. Do you see my point now? I don’t believe that they possess the maturity level sufficient to be given such power over an adult who plays a big part in their life. If only you could be in my classroom to hear the comments of, “I hate Mr. or Mrs. So and so……” and when I engage in the conversation and ask them why, I often find out it was because she/he asked made them throw out their gum, gave them a test on a day that didn’t suit them, had some expectations that the student would actually do work, etc, etc, etc.

    Maybe now you are seeing my point? And don’t worry…. I hear your children complaining about you too! “My Mom/Dad is such a jerk, I hate him/her….” and upon further investigation, you just didn’t buy them the cellphone that they wanted. (wink, wink)

  14. 2:22 PM,

    Nah, ain’t buying it. Silly anecdotes that don’t reflect reality. All the children I have ever spoken to can tell you what makes a good or bad teacher.

    Yes, some children might exaggerate but most will give an honest assessment.

    Like I said before, you throw out the high grade and low to find an average.

  15. If you say so, 6:37.

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