Sunday, December 05, 2010
This whole idea of added value teacher ratings is contrary to the notion of team work. It is now beneficial for a teacher to try to clear their classes of irksome and difficult students. This way they can make sure their statistics, the primary way they will be rated, will be good. When an announcement is put out saying there are seats available in a class that is lower than the class someone is teaching there will be a rush to drop students into these classes as doing so guarantees higher passing percentages, at least to the ones doing the dropping. (A child with an average of less than 20 will have difficulties succeeding in any class.)
In addition to clearing classes, there is also the issue of providing additional help for students. Suppose two students, one in teacher A's class and one in teacher B's class need a little extra help. The student from A asks B for the help. B has no incentive to offer this help because doing so might give A better results, hence A appears to be the better teacher.
Sports teams have their star athletes, the ones who win the trophies and bring in the crowds and they get paid the most. But, the guy who sacrificed to help this guy win his game is not penalized for doing so. Besides, teaching and school are not sports and while working as a team is imperative, all the team members must be treated as equals.
I guess I am ranting here because of Packemin's latest DOE status. We have been and still are a great school. Several administrators have been stressing individual teacher statistics above everything else and this simply does not help the school. While I am the first one to say these school ratings are just magician tricks to help the Bloomberg administration do what they want--close down all big schools, we are caught in the middle and must do everything we can to protect our little place on earth. And, we can better do that by working together, looking out for the school and not for ourselves. Mr. AP always says "We are here to teach children." We need to do just that and teamwork is an important part of the process.