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Once Again, Trying To Rate Teachers By Test Scores – That’s Baloney!

I read our news director, Casey Danton’s blog today .  Not knocking you, Casey – you’re just reporting the news. But once again the microscope seems to be on the schoolteacher and test results.   Sorry – don’t totally agree. Do you?

I could go on for pages about this.  Not to worry, I won’t.  But having been a teacher, I went through all those teacher observations where principal comes in on a random day with a clipboard, sits in the back of the room, and you are praying that the kids don’t go nuts for that one 45 minute session.  And then the kids have their regents exams, and you get on your hands and knees hoping to the lord above that their test results are good – otherwise they jump to very quick conclusions about you.

Professor Prigogine
Hulton Archive/Getty Image

What about the terrible test taker?  What about the “slow learner”?  What about the child with so many personal problems at home that he/she can’t concentrate?  All of these scenarios are plopped on a teacher’s lap on every given day.  They have to become teacher, guidance counselor, security guard, surrogate parent and all things in between.  To base a committed educator’s future on several test scores and a handful of random stealth observations is unfair.

You can’t measure a teacher’s worth in hard figures. How would you like it if parents got rated by a test, and if you failed the kids got taken away?   You’ve got to look at the whole package.   They’re not salespeople, people!

Do you agree?  Disagree?  (and don’t give me that “they only work a half a day for a half a year” argument either).  Those 5 years I put in as a teacher were the hardest 10 years of my life (certainly seemed that way).


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