Monday, April 8, 2013

New Teacher Evaluations: More Money Spent for the Same Results

The New York Times recently wrote an article explaining the new teacher evaluation systems many states adopted in an effort to reform or improve education. However, the only result seems to be more money spent for the same results. Here are some state results on teacher effectiveness:

  • Florida: 97% rated "effective."
  • Tennessee: 98% rated as being "at expectations."
  • Michigan: 98% rated "effective" or higher.

Time and time again, America gets sold on this idea that its education system is faltering, and that it is the result of ineffective teachers in the classroom. 

Poverty doesn't matter. 

Home life doesn't matter. 

Family morals doesn't matter. Resources don't matter.

"It's all about the quality of the teacher," they say. With the advent of Race to the Top, states rushed to adopt evaluation systems with observation modules that micromanage the teachers' actions and the Value Added Model that judges teachers based on standardized test results, whether or not they teach a tested student or have the students used in their scores in their classes. 

There is only one of two conclusions to make of this. 

1. The new evaluation system is just as flawed as the old one.
2. As a whole, teachers aren't as bad as some would like the public to believe. 

Either way, I think the system is a big waste. 

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