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Old 10-04-2012, 22:36   #56
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Originally Posted by INJoker View Post
The teachers I know aren't upset about being measured against a high standard. In fact, many of them welcome that. They're upset because the criteria they're being measured against do not reflect reality.
On the contrary: things like test scores are the most objective reality there is. There is no more "real" reality than a set of numbers like the results of a standardized test.

The correct question to ask is, are those scores measuring the right thing? I think that's what you were trying to get at. But to suggest that test scores "do not reflect reality" is ridiculous.

Asking teachers to overcome all imaginable family, social and lifestyle factors to guarantee equal progress and/or equal outcomes for all students is the underlying goal of most teacher evaluation programs I've seen. Doing this assumes that all children are born equally intelligent to equally intelligent, educated parents. It assumes that these children are all proficient in English and that their families facilitate and encourage educational progress in the home. It assumes their parents read to all of them at night and help them with their homework. This approach assumes that these children all have identical levels of intrinsic motivation, self control and aptitude.
Not at all. Not even a little. No one is asking teachers to guarantee equal progress or equal outcomes.

This is the beauty of large numbers: no one expects teachers to make every student equal. The expectation is that the teacher helps every student improve, such than, on average, the group shows improvement.

GT loves to harp on and on about personal responsibility almost as much as GT loves to ***** about teachers, yet nobody on GT will blame the people most directly linked to the success of their children in ANY educational program: the parents.
If the teachers do not affect the outcome, then the teachers shouldn't have a job.

But you're wrong. Teachers do have a measurable impact. Good teachers help students improve--a lot.

I also never see quantitative analysis of data showing the correlations between parents income level, education level and involvement in their child's education to the child's chances for academic success.
I've done them. In fact, I do them for a living--my firm does quite a bit of pro bono work for school districts. Education is one of our social impact focuses.

Of course students who come from wealthy families with well-educated parents tend to do better in school. So what?

Teachers are NOT being asked to guarantee, as you continue to imply, that students in poor neighborhoods with broken families who go hungry at night perform at the same level as kids in suburban schools with soccer mommies.

Teachers are being asked to help those kids. Those kids need help and they're not getting it.

Teachers are being asked to show that their students are improving. The teacher evaluation system that the CTU was so up in arms about? It was going to measure each teacher's performance by testing their students at the beginning of the year, then again at the end of the year, and seeing if test scores improved. That's all. Did this teacher's 30 students do better after a year of teaching than before?

If you genuinely, honestly think that a teacher shouldn't be held accountable to that bare minimum standard, then what are the teachers doing? Why do they have jobs in the first place?
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