Teachers to Rate Each Other to “Improve Perfomance.” Flying Pigs Unavailable for Comment.

Imagine your job performance being rated by a colleague, one that you are going to see daily. They are not a supervisor, but on the same pay level and supervisory level as you.

How’s that sound to you?

On some levels, it sounds pretty sweet. After all, who is going to rat out a colleague? Who is going to say “you aren’t going to get a pay raise, my friend, because you suck at your job?”

On the other hand, what a great chance for revenge. If you don’t like someone, you can go and just kill them on their evaluation.

“Peer evaluation” is something that is advocated from academia. It something that works well in utopian vacuums, but in the real world, such systems often fail for the reasons cited above.

So it is with some surprise that the local school board has announced that peer reviews of teachers will be part of the measure of a teacher’s evaluations starting this fall.

Starting this fall, all Brevard Public Schools teachers will be evaluated under a new system that takes into account what colleagues think of their teaching as well as how their students did.

The district’s goal: ensure its 5,028 teachers are performing their best.

By asking teachers to rate one another, the district hopes to tap into their know-how and encourage them to work collectively to improve everyone’s skills. And by incorporating student achievement into the evaluations, officials will have a more uniform basis to measure a teacher’s effectiveness

The “old system” actually had a principal or assistant principal observe the teacher in the classroom. The supposed fault in the system is that administrators cannot spend a great deal of time in the classroom as they have other issues to handle. The effective result is principals and assistants can base an evaluation based on 20 minutes of observing a teacher in the classroom.

Bathroom breaks can take 20 minutes.

To make matters worse, teachers were required to know when the principal or assistant was going to visit their classroom. Unannounced observations were not allowed. Knowing the evaluation was going to take place, some teachers would not only be on their best behavior, but would actually tell their students if they behaved. they would get a reward. We here at Raised on Hoecakes call that a bribe.

Under the new process, student performance will make up nearly 50 percent of the evaluation. That will be determined based on FCAT scores, scores on other state exams and student grades.

The rest of the teacher’s evaluation will be based on colleague reviews, personal goals set and goals achieved.

If one were to assume that the job of a teacher is to teach, and the effectiveness of that teacher would be the proficiency of their students, can anyone explain why the objective part of the evaluation – student performance – is given a weight of less than 50% Why are ‘reviews, personal goals set and goals achieved” more important than how well a teacher teaches?

And on that note, what the heck is a “personal goal set?”

“My goal is to be here on time and not be late more than 50% of the time.”

“Hey! You were only late 33% of the time, so you met your goals!”

This program is riddled with more holes than Swiss cheese.

Where and how are the teachers that are going to review the performance of another teacher going to get the time to observe another teacher? One complaint we constantly hear from teachers is the lack of time they have, and now we are going to pull them out of the classroom to observe others? And for that matter what the heck are department heads doing in this new system? Nothing?

If one were to look at this objectively, one would have to conclude that the new evaluation system was put together by people who didn’t care about the quality of education, but were concerned only with the retention of teachers and their jobs.

Hmmmm…. who could that be?

The new evaluation method was created by a 20-member committee comprised of administrators, teachers and representatives from the Brevard Federation of Teachers. They researched methods used around the country. They also sought input from local teachers and about 800 responded with suggestions.

This is a great, great thing,” said Janet Eastman, the union’s president up until the end of May, who actively participated in drafting the new evaluation method.

Yeah, and pigs fly.

This type of thing just makes you want to blow up the whole system and start again. Clearly we need to return to accountability in schools instead of this “feel good,” namby pamby type of “evaluation.” But accountability is not what the school system and those within it want as any form of accountability would show what a massive failure the education system truly is.

One Response to “Teachers to Rate Each Other to “Improve Perfomance.” Flying Pigs Unavailable for Comment.”

  1. Otis P. Driftwood says:

    So teachers will be evaluated by opinion and not performance. I wish my job was like that.