I was really surprised by the responses I received to my blog post this week. I really thought there would be varying viewpoints depending on what type of school or occupation of the commenter, but what I discovered is that, for my classmates, we have all thought long and hard about the process of evaluation of both teachers and students, and while most of us feel there is a need for teacher evaluation, the system in place is designed to be punitive to those who teach the neediest students.
I found all comments to be thoughtful and on point with the discussion. I had thought to sum up all thoughts on my own, but found one comment in particular that I thought perfectly summed up the thoughts of the class as a whole. Below is reprinted from Courtney’s comments. The rest of her comment is well worth the time to read.
The public needs to recognize that blame for poor achievement cannot be placed solely on the teacher. Teachers have no control over so many aspects of their students’ lives so it doesn’t make sense to hold the teacher solely accountable for how the student performs. I’m reminded of a story I read in a newspaper a few years ago. It’s become a quite popular scenario used to demonstrate how teachers must work with what they are given – no exceptions. Here’s a link to the story: http://www.jamievollmer.com/blueberries