It’s not that we don’t believe in bad teachers, it’s that we don’t believe in you

Peter Greene said:

I think there are faux tin hat physicists who are closer to building a cold fusion generator and a perpetual motion machine than reformsters are to building a reliable and accurate system for identifying bad teachers.

Do I think there’s a valuable conversation to be had about less effective teachers and how to best deal with them in a school system? Oh, boy, do I. But we aren’t ready for that conversation, because you aren’t ready to admit that you don’t have a clue how to tell a great teacher having a bad day from a good teacher with a tough class from a bad teacher who probably should be a shoe salesman from a great teacher who just got randomly swept up by whatever mangled metric you loosed upon the teaching world.

You keep saying you want to raise the bar when mostly you’re just swinging the bar wildly around with closed eyes and every time you randomly clobber something you cry out, “There– it’s another bad teacher!” As long as you are swinging bad metrics around like so many long-dead cats on a ten-foot pole, no teacher is going to be comfortable getting anywhere near you and your super-secret method for weeding out the riff from the raff.

It really is not that we don’t believe in bad teachers, or that we think they should be enshrined and preserved. What we don’t believe in is you, and your cockamamie untested unvalidated unproven evaluation systems.


2 Responses to “It’s not that we don’t believe in bad teachers, it’s that we don’t believe in you”

  1. A principal can walk the halls and tell if teachers are engaging kids, having a reteach day, mental”video” health day, or not feeling well day. The evaluation system being used is a tool for getting teachers with potential better or as a way to get rid of a person without being sued.

    • And exactly what part of that allows the principal to tell if the teacher’s lesson and units are effective for his or her students? That is why peer evaluation by experienced educators is the appropriate method of evaluation, and not “drive by” evaluations or based on standardized test scores of subjects or grade levels that the person is not even teaching (yes, the Music teacher gets a VAM evaluation based on Math and English test scores)

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