Yes, bad teachers exist everywhere. It's impossible to avoid a few bad apples in the whole bunch. Look at any job, there are those that do and those that don't. Even if the job is not unionized, the "bad apples" are everywhere and they are just as hard to fire in corporate America as they are in education. If one steps back and looks at any group of people, there will always be people who slide by under the radar and do the minimum to complete their job...or less than the minimum.
I wholeheartedly agree with the idea of teachers being held accountable for the success of their students...to a degree. I think everyone who is a public servant should be accountable for the success of the public they serve, that's the name of the game. The real question that remains to be answered, is how do we measure success? The resounding answer from
This is not the best option when it comes to explaining the process to the public. Evaluation of these portfolios would be costly, subjective, and time consuming to say the least. I don't foresee this happening, not in my state.
We also know that the current standardized "one size fits all" test is also not the answer. These tests put certain demographics at a disadvantage, they place too much weight in just one test, and, at least in my state, are given in April, which cuts short the amount of time teachers have to
These tests make much more sense to the public because they can assign a number to a student's performance and that number can then be compared to
So where does that leave us? How can we successfully, accurately, and fairly evaluate student performance which takes into account all of the special needs and situations of every student? I don't know that their is an answer to that question. How do we then evaluate teacher performance? I have supplied a suggestion in a previous blog post. (There are only two before this one, you should be able to narrow it down.)
Perhaps the answer to our failing public schools is charter schools. Charter schools provide an environment where no unions exist and teachers are sometimes paid based on their students' performance. They can be
If you believe what you just read, go to 5 charter schools in your area. Sit in on some classes. Look at the facilities. Then go to 5 public schools in your area and do the same. I think the differences will astound you. I served as a substitute for a year, mostly in various charter schools around the Toledo area. I know for a fact that charter schools are not the answer, at least not entirely. That isn't to say that charter schools are ALL bad, because there are some that are very successful and are models for what education can look like. But for the most part, charter schools become dumping grounds for students who get expelled from public schools, or who's parents want to escape what they see as bad in the public schools.
I think we have enough to think about so I will stop here but there will be more to come.