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Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Salty, Mar 3, 2011.
From the Wall St Journal
Anything based on merit is a deadly enemy of unionism.
Propose a method of measuring the teacher's merit.
Attendance and effectiveness.
In theory, merit is great, but as Bill says (there he goes agreeing with me again - there just may be hope for Bill) how do we measure. By all the number of students passing to the next grade; by passing standardized test, ect. If so, then the teacher will be teaching test taking.
This might be a bit unorthodox, but supposed you ask first semester college Sophomores - their view of their high school teachers...
IMHO the merit thing is so problematic because of the discrepancies in schools. What will effectiveness look like? How will it be measured? Inner city schools are hard to staff because they are hard to teach in. Will there be adjustments in the formulas for their merit pay? If not, then the good teachers will all be in the burbs. There is also the issue of absenteeism. I had two kids last year in one class that EACH were absent more than 45 days. I quit counting then because they'd missed a quarter at that point. I've got the same scenario happening this year. One is not quite at the quarter mark, but very close.
I don't mind the merit pay if they can come up with something that will draw experienced and capable teachers to hard-to-staff schools.
Ban it and fire anyone caught doing it.
The state-mandated curriculum should be taught and the test should cover the curriculum. The two do go hand-in-hand.
MC, are you familiar with the NY State Regents?
All public schools are required to give Regents tests to students enrolled in courses that have a State Regents.
I called the local Christian School, and was told they did not utilize the Regents because too many teachers simply teach so the kids will pass the regents.
History of the NY Regents
Observation and employee review, just like the private sector. The Boss gets to look at your work; if he likes it, he keeps you. If he doesn't, he fires you.
The school board should be able to hire or fire anyone, give raises, etc., totally upon their own discretion. JUST like a private company. Any system other than this is stupid.
Yes, I have heard of it - but it's all I can do to know all the math curriculum for my state. Local Christian schools here don't give the exams mandated by the state either. When I taught in a private school, I liked giving those exams because it gave me a very clear understanding of how my students were doing in comparison.
This is what I don't understand on the charge above. If the Regents tests the curriculum, then the curriculum is taught and the Regents is given. If the Regents tests something other than the curriculum, then why is it given?
How do you teach the test that tests the curriculum and not teach the curriculum? I'm sure there are ways, but it's my job to teach the curriculum in ways that will help the students learn it, apply it, connect it and then know that most will do the best they can on the test. As they all put varying degrees of effort into their learning - that too will be reflected in those final scores.
This does happen in many schools. I do think this process keeps teachers on their toes. And there are mechanisms in place to deal with inadequate teachers, put them on action plans, and observe them as if they were new teachers. That documentation allows them to improve or be removed whether or not they have tenure. For all teachers to be observed at least once a year, there will probably have to be a change/addition in administration because principals don't just deal with teachers. I wholeheartedly agree that more observations would be good for the profession.
And stupid is a mighty strong word - the kind that might end discussions.
How about an annual secret teacher poll in which the teachers rate each other with the results published?
I believe that's called Teacher of the Year at most schools.
Peers judging peers could be a small part of the mix, but I'd be really uncomfortable with it unless I got to spend some time in every teacher's room and then who would be in mine?
That would quickly turn into a popularity contest. The hiring, firing and raises needs to be at the sole discretion of whatever supervisors the teacher has (such as the Principal, Superintendent, and school board).
I'm wondering if testing for teachers would be a good portion of resolving this issue.
What if a teacher is tested and reviewed on a few things once every two years?
1. Knowledge pertaining to the topic he/she teaches.
2. Knowledge of methods of handling certain behaviors in the classroom.
3. A review of records and examination of both achievements and complaints.
4. Special consideration for things he/she does to stay current in their field if they go beyond requirements simply because they are interested enough to keep themselves informed.
I also wouldn't be against talking to top students in higher grades and taking their thoughts into consideration. They know good teachers, appreciate them, and are more than willing to point them out. Just make sure you ask them AFTER they're finished having that teacher. LOL
It IS that way. While the Federal Guhment is not allowed to set curriculum and control what is taught in schools, they CONTROL THE FUNDING thru ISTEP (and other) standardized tests. So if too many of your kids flunk these tests, they lose federal money and if it gets too bad, get taken over by the Federal Guhment.
So no, they don't control curriculum. But they control the money, which is even MORE control.
My wife is an out of work teacher. She has a Master's Degree + 10 years experience. She and 5 others got the axe at the end of last year. She's went to at least 8 interviews only to NOT get the job. In every case, she loses the job to a kid out of college with a Bachelors degree....less money. Because of the unions, there is no salary negotiation. Unless some school district has their back against the wall in an emergency, she will not be returning to public school.
I know of a case where merit pay was nothing more than an administrator awarding his friends with extra pay (not merit pay).
>>How about an annual secret teacher poll in which the teachers rate each other with the results published?
>That would quickly turn into a popularity contest.
Don't think so because if teacher A will be stuck with teacher B's unlearned students the following year . . . .