Education Editorial: Teacher evaluations

Education Editorial: Teacher evaluations

Researchers at the University of California and the University of Pennsylvania have recently revealed the results of a study of teacher evaluations in six states.

"Value-added models," which include student performance as a factor, were used in teacher annual appraisals. The researchers noted that there is no relationship between "quality" teaching and evaluations. The students of "good" teachers did not always do well on tests.

Well, here is the assumption! Student performance should not be used to evaluate teachers and certainly should not be used to make personnel decisions. This conclusion has been advanced since the inception of accountability systems.

I have heard teachers say, "It is my job to offer it to them. If they don't take, it's their fault." While it is unreasonable to think that every student can do well, it does not seem unreasonable to believe that the performance of a teacher has an impact on the performance of students.

Schools are not simply custodial institutions; they are places where parents should reasonably expect that value has been added and that there are indicators to substantiate it. Maybe we have not taught until students have learned. Let's subordinate teaching to learning!

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