Bill recognizes that teachers are more than test scores

Standardized test results aren’t the best way to judge a teacher’s effectiveness, and the Michigan House recently passed a pair of bills that recognize this fact.
May 28, 2014

 

 
House Bills 5223 and 5224 reduce the student test results portion of teacher rating criteria from 50 percent down to 20 percent.
 
The bills also establish a system in which teacher performance is judged based on classroom observations and student growth. This is great news for our state’s educators, who will now have their effectiveness rated in a much more fair manner. 
 
We agree that teachers need to be evaluated, and those who aren’t doing their job need to get with the program or find a new line of work. 
 
Make no mistake — there are plenty of lousy teachers out there who are just happy to be cashing a paycheck each week. But they are a minority. There are many more wonderful teachers who put in countless hours before and after school to make sure they’re doing their best to educate the young minds that come through their doors each day. 
 
Previously, 50 percent of a teacher’s effectiveness rating — which can be used to rank teachers and, in some cases, lead to layoffs for those at the bottom of the list —was based on standardized test scores. 
 
We’re much more comfortable with teachers being evaluated by experts in their field, who actually come into the classroom and observe the teacher at work. 
 
There’s so much more to education than standardized testing. Kudos to our state’s lawmakers for recognizing that. 
 
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

 

Comments

Straightjacket

I say let teachers pick their students like coaches pick their team. Not everyone gets to play varsety football. The science and math teachers pick their team then evaluate the performance of the teacher based on the team's performance he or she picked. If its good enough for sports it's good enough for science.

newsblogger

Sadly we live in a society where "everyone wins a prize" so this method would never work.

Interestedreader

so the loser teachers get the loser students,is education a sporting event?

Straightjacket

Our society idolizes sports more than education, maybe this way being educated will be cool and more people may try out.

Straightjacket

The other way to look at it may be an uneducated athlete makes 10 million a year and a doctor makes 200 grand so what does society appreciate?

LongGone

What about the students with special needs? They're certainly going to drag down the "teams" performance and since the teachers are evaluated on this performance what sane teacher is going to choose these students? Instead these students are the last ones standing and thus "evenly" disbursed among teachers that don't want them and most likely lack the experience, knowledge, education and passion to be an effective teacher to these students. Not to mention these students with special needs, that have the most intense and diverse needs of anyone else on the team and not only require but deserve daily individualized instruction so their opportunities to be successful are equal to their teammates, are now passed over to focus on the students who will increase performance. Seems like an effective approach to education for sure.

Unfortunately, this is reality in so many schools now. If a teacher feels there are too many "special education" students in their class and too few in a colleagues class they make a call to their union...special education students negatively impact student performance and now their effectiveness is being evaluated by that performance. But do you blame the general education teacher?!

Straightjacket, please stay on the playing fields and out of our children's schools!

Stifled

Not only then did teachers not want special ed students in their classroom, but I also heard that many excellent teachers no longer wanted to teach the advanced or honors classes either. If you are being evaluated based on student improvement via test scores, you don't want mostly "A" students in your classroom. There is not a lot of room to improve from a 95 to 98 for example. I spoke to one teacher who no longer wanted to teach calculus because it was an advanced class with mostly the "high flyers" in it., and. she wouldn't be able to demonstrate as much improvement based on student test scores. I am glad this bill passed, 20 percent of your eval. Based on performance seems more fair. There has to be better ways to measure teacher effectiveness than just test scores.

Straightjacket

Look at return on investment some special needs kids will always need special needs. Let them stay home.

Interestedreader

SJ,do u mean forever,merci!

 

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