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  • TEACHER QUALITY IS LIKE PORNOGRAPHY

    Filed at 5:07 am under by dcobranchi

    Katie Newmark, guesting at Edspresso, takes a look at the problems of teacher merit pay programs. She doesn’t really get into the biggest problem of all- union mentality. Way too many teachers think it’s not fair to pay one person more than another. And their complaint that the principals will manipulate the results to pick their favorites is, I believe, a red herring at best. Deep down, the folks who like the status quo are afraid they couldn’t compete.

    5 Responses to “TEACHER QUALITY IS LIKE PORNOGRAPHY”


    Comment by
    Lioness
    April 26th, 2006
    at 11:04 am

    Unfortunately, it’s not a red herring. The issue of administrative accountability has never really been addressed in the public school system.


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    April 26th, 2006
    at 11:32 am

    Sorry, I don’t buy it. Why can every other industry in the world function with supervisors having the ability to evaluate their employees, but principals are too stupid or unprincipled 🙂 to do the same. It’s just an excuse by folks who won’t or (believe they) can’t compete.


    Comment by
    Karen
    April 26th, 2006
    at 12:45 pm

    I was going to say, along with Lioness, that it is not a red herring either! I worked at four different high schools under 5 different principals. 1 would have done (and did) literally anything to reward the suck-ups on staff. 1 would have been (and was) scrupulously honest. 1 would have guessed and made sh*t up (she did). The other 2 would have tried to be decent.

    Then I read your comment, Daryl. You are right: everyone else has to contend with being supervisors who evaluate them and make pay decisions based on those evaluations. Everyone else has to deal with their pay being impacted by whether or not their boss is fair. Why are teachers unable to?

    I’ll tell you one reason why–many, many teachers have never worked “in the real world.” Oh, sure, maybe they waited tables while in college. Maybe they even run fireworks stands over the summer. But, by and large, after graduation, teaching is the only career they know.


    Comment by
    Lioness
    April 26th, 2006
    at 1:07 pm

    Daryl, I’m not talking about who evaluates the teachers. Teacher evaluation is, of course, necessary. I’m talking about who evaluates the school administrators. Incompetent/corrupt school administrators are responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars disapearing from the school system. Studies have shown that their responsiveness represents the major difference between high-performing and low-performing schools. And we’re trusting these people to evaluate teachers? That’s putting the cart before the horse.

    First, evaluate the administrators. Then, those administrators who passed their own evaluations can evaluate the teachers.

    I’m not objecting to evaluations, but lets get the order right.


    Comment by
    Jeanne
    April 26th, 2006
    at 5:47 pm

    I always find it interesting that parents know who the best and worst teachers are in a school. Additionally, if you know a teacher well enough for him or her to trust that you won’t say who said it, s/he’ll tell you who the best and worst teachers are in a school. Many of the KIDS can tell you who the best and worst teachers are (in any other system, this would be important, since they are the consumers, but perversely, they are instead considered the “product” rather than the “beneficiary.”) But despite what a community “knows” about its teachers, nothing is actionable.