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Question of the Day: Teacher Evaluation Process

Is using test scores to evaluate teachers a bad idea?

Principals across the region, , think using test scores to evaluate teachers is not the best idea.

They've recently signed a letter criticizing the latest state initiative to use test results as a criteria for evaluating teachers.

Do you think test scores are any indication of a teacher's ability to teach?

Do you remember anything from your SAT's? Your Regents?

Do test scores really matter at all in the bigger scheme of things?

Can a teacher -- even a bad one -- be held accountable for a student who doesn't do the work?

Elena DiMarco November 05, 2011 at 12:56 AM
Hi Bob, I appreciate your detailed feedback! You bring up some very interesting points.
Nancy November 05, 2011 at 04:32 AM
Bob, In regard to your statement: "My first reaction when I read a question like this is ... what role are the parents playing in their own child's education? What are *they* doing to ensure the child's work is getting done? How does the home environment help to supplement the education being offered in the schools?" All I can say is that I have observed my nephews children in 4th and 5th grades each coming home with over an hour's worth of homework every day and getting help from their mother who works and is trying to prepare dinner for the family. It is almost impossible to help both of them at the same time. I could not even begin to figure out how to do some of the homework they bring home. Do the parents have to be schooled (or re-schooled) to try and give help to their children? The teaching methods are changing all the time. When children are involved in any extra cirricular activities, such as sports, dance, art, scouts, etc. to have them shaped as well rounded individuals, there is not much time left in the day for any family or play time. It may not be an easy task for the teachers, but it is not easy for the parents either.
Bob Shane November 06, 2011 at 12:14 AM
Thank you for the opportunity to express them, Elena.
Bob Shane November 06, 2011 at 12:40 AM
Hi Nancy.... I believe that your nephew's wife is doing everything right, based on what you've written here. No one ever said that raising kids *the right way* is an easy endeavor. But if a couple is going to bring them into the world, there is no other alternative as far as I'm concerned. The schools do their part, and the parents must do theirs. That's how kids are successfully educated. You asked the question, "Do the parents have to be schooled (or re-schooled) to try and give help to their children?" No, I don't really think so. What they need to do is observe their kids' study habits and ask them questions about their assignments. In other words, see if the *kids* can explain their school work to the parents. If the kids are truly understanding their work, they should be able to convey it to the parents -- and usually with pride and confidence. If they're struggling, that should be observable. And if that's the case, every effort should be made to contact the teacher to see about getting the kid(s) some extra help. This is something that every parent -- whether they know the material or not -- can (and should) do.
Nancy November 08, 2011 at 06:25 PM
Hi Bob, My nephew and his wife are trying to keep up with the kids and their school work while both working. I don't think they expected school work to have changed so drastically from when they had gone to school. Nothing we learned in school is of any help when we try to work with the kids and their school work. I guess by the time they are parents themselves it will be an entirely different ball game again. If the kids don't understand the assignments in school how are they supposed to explain it to their parents. Forget the pride and confidence when they are struggling with understanding it themselves. Is it possible that the kids are being overburdened with this learning process? When all the others in the class (and their parents) are having problems with this shouldn't it be looked into? The teacher has been contacted in regard to this situation by more than one parent. The parents have a network and can see what the others are dealing with. They have been getting extra help but that means getting them to and from the school, or wherever they are going for it. More rides in addition to the daily home and school schedules. I'm just glad I'm not going to school in these times.


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