The Albany school budget has passed. The people who run the charter schools in Albany have revealed themselves as unethical rascals. What’s next on the education horizon? New teacher evaluation reforms. As we look more closely at education, the teacher is increasingly getting the brunt of the blame for poor student behavior.
It would be naive to say there weren't any bad teachers out there, because there are. It would also be short sighted to downplay the importance on a child’s life of having a good teacher, because everyone knows that an amazing teacher can literally change a child’s life. (Click here to listen to Planet Money’s podcast on the economics of a good teacher). But when it comes to education, it seems like our eggs are all in one basket. The basket of: if you have a good teacher, they will produce high test scores in a child and then and only then will we have a well educated population.
Most likely driven by the above theory, Governor Cuomo pushed State Ed and the Legislature to have the
It would be most sensible to me to involve teachers and schools in the process of creating tests so that the tests could be a useful tool for them as well. Instead of looking at people who decided to dedicate their lives to educating children as the enemy, look at them as partners in educating our children. There isn't a teacher out there, good or bad, who doesn't want their students to shine.
Any test that is given to students should first have the goal of being a real assessment tool for that individual child. If the test doesn't meet that vital need then why would it be used to assess our teachers and schools? Reforming teacher evaluations is important. Our children need and deserve good teachers. Good teachers deserve praise and to work with equally good colleagues. However, putting the emphasis on a bad assessment tool will never help educate the individual child, which should be the ultimate goal of the tests.
Here are some more interesting things to ponder in education:
Should parents be held accountable for children failing? If so, to what degree? NY Times
It's often a top-down view of teachers, but what do teachers want to empower themselves to let them be the great teachers they know they can be despite the many pressures put on them? Washington Post