Mar 13, 2012

ARTICLE: Student Raters

North Carolina to Let Students Rate Teachers

"A Race to the Top funded pilot program for students to evaluate their teachers will go live this Spring in North Carolina."

Oh, heck, what's one more test?

"North Carolina is spending $600,000 in federal grant money to give students a voice in rating their teachers. The money comes from the Race to the Top program and is being spent on consultants to prepare an effective survey based on Harvard University’s research of effective teaching."

I see no value in this at all. Grade-level children cannot be objective. If they have had a "good" year, they'll give a good report. Don't get me wrong--I think I would get good results. I tend to have great relationships with my students, but I know who would give me positive reviews and who would give me negative ones; therefore, it's meaningless, a waste of money. Likewise, it's also pointless to ask parents to fill out questionnaires. I e-mail my parents regularly. I maintain a webpage with links, a homework list, extra work, important dates, etc. I return phone calls. I have the students maintain a folder with assignments, quizzes, and notes. And, yet, I would have parents argue that I don't communicate enough. 

"Teachers who participate will be able to view their collated results and there is hope that the new surveys will provide guidance as to the areas teachers and school should focus on to improve."

Nonsense. The areas that need improvement have nothing to do with the teachers. Another misguided attempt to improve education. Unfortunately, in this day and age, the only bull's-eye seems permanent.

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