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Friday, June 16, 2017

Teacher Evaluation and Politics

Politics may play a bigger role in teacher evaluations than actual attributes of good teaching. Teachers who speak up, risk, and try new ideas may be seen as rabble rousers while those who dutifully do as administrators ask may receive high scores.

It could also be true that teachers who are related to friends or colleagues of administrators may receive higher marks than teachers who are not related.

Further a teacher whose research, practice, and philosophy differ from an administrator's may receive lower marks even if that teacher is up-to-date and well schooled.

I write of this as teachers are beginning to talk about evaluations--they are starting to notice potential patterns of injustice in this regard. What's the best next step?

I think, in general, educators should be rated proficient or needs improvement, and to get needs improvement would be associated with specific criteria that connects to not doing your job. I believe that the exemplary rating only invites lots of politics into a system and gets in the way of the good work possible--do you agree?