Teachers need evaluations

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I am in favor of student performance being part of teacher evaluations.

In a capitalistic society, we pay for performance, not effort. Teachers demand responsibility from their students and should be held accountable for their performance as well. While there are certain factors outside of their control, we cannot excuse them from the final product any more than we do in private enterprise.

In fact, they are the very people who quantitatively test their students and assign scores that ultimately affect the future of those very students, despite uncontrollable factors with which those students must deal. How can you test students and assign grades when teachers themselves are unwilling to be evaluated and scored accordingly?

Our investment per student is at an all-time high, yet student performance continues to slide. End tenure and demand accountability for performance and results in our teachers, and we will finally begin to see improvement in public education.

Lauren Bishop

Augusta

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avidreader
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avidreader 12/09/11 - 06:16 am
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I totally agree with Ms.

I totally agree with Ms. Bishop's commentary. Teachers should be held accountable for the education of our children, and as of this week, Georgia's teachers are being made aware that a new evaluation process is coming soon. I have reviewed the specs for the evaluation, and although some will continue to be tweaked over the upcoming months, the process, as a whole, seems fitting.

I read each evaluation standard carefully, and was happy to see that my strengths as an educator fall in line with the expectations of the state, including student surveys. I know that many teachers will not abide well with state-level evaluations, no matter how indiscriminate, but the time has come to weed out the inefficient and replace them with fresh eyes. Education is not just a job; it's a calling that comes from one's heart. Let's face it, some educators just aren't cut out for the task.

There are two rubrics for evaluation -- one for EOCT/CRCT (standardized tests) teachers and one for non-testing instructors. However, the public can rest assured that the non-testing instructors will not be scrutinized as heavily as the ones who put the numbers on the data charts. This is sad, and it's also just my personal opinion. The powers-that-be will not agree with my opinion. God bless our P.E., Home Ec., and Life Skills teachers, but there is virtually no pressure on them to perform at a high academic level. And yes, if anyone reading this is interested, we all make the same step salaries.

Bring on the evaluations -- I'm ready for them. I'm sure I'll receive some "flack" for my comments, but what the heck -- we're all just babbling.

Techfan
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Techfan 12/09/11 - 06:22 am
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The problem with trying to

The problem with trying to use student performance is that classes aren't assigned equally. The teacher who is "connected" may have a class full of high achievers who all plan on attending college, while one who is not may have a class full of hellions that plan on dropping out as soon as they can. If you want to use improvement in student performance instead of just performance, you may have an argument.

scoobynews
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scoobynews 12/09/11 - 07:22 am
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Very ignorant comments for

Very ignorant comments for the most part. How can a teacher at a low achieving school where the students have poor attendance, failing test scores, and no parent support possibly get a fair "rating"? The point is you can't. Not every school is a Davidson, Greenbrier, River Ridge, or etc. What if your a strict teacher who expects the most from your students yet you get a low evaluation because you do have high expectations for behavior all because some preteen doesn't like you for making them tow the line? I sure wish I could do this in other professions. I would love to have what I pay my doctor based on what quality of care I got and their bedside manner. If that is the case I sure wouldn't owe as much money in bills as I do. We will only see an improvement in education when EVERYONE (parents, teachers, administration, and the public) are on board. A teacher can only teach what they are told to after that it is all on the child to learn it. Parents can help by asking their child what they learned and to not always believe their child has no homework 180 days out of the year. Ms. Bishop may have high achieving kids but what about the teachers who have little Johnny whose mom is in prison, lil Susie who is sexually abused by her uncle, or lil Dave who didn't get any supper last night. This is not a teacher problem this is a society problem and until we do something about that all the teacher evaluations in the world won't matter.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 12/09/11 - 07:25 am
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Scooby, exactly!!! It's the

Scooby, exactly!!!

It's the demographics that make a school. Nothing more. Give me the income level of school districts in any city and I can accurately predict their scores.

ConcernedTaxpayer
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ConcernedTaxpayer 12/09/11 - 07:51 am
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Tenure, Teachers Unions, the

Tenure, Teachers Unions, the NEA, and Sorry Parents/Parenting, and absentee parents are some of the biggest problems. Start with doing away with tenure. Once a teacher gets tenure, they don't have to have good performance anymore.

grovetownman
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grovetownman 12/09/11 - 08:18 am
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Although I agree with teacher
Unpublished

Although I agree with teacher evaluation, lets look at what teachers have to put up with. Bratty or troublesome students who receive no discipline at home. Teachers see a kid sometimes more than a parent will. lack of funds (budget cuts, etc...) parents who wonder why their little child is failing or acting up and why a teacher can't control them? In order for a child to be successful, there must be parental involvement. The door swings both ways. The schools now feed the students two meals a day. Those kids are there for eight hours. A teacher has up to 120-50 students they see and teach and try to do what's best for them every single day. I challenge you naysayers to put yourselves in the shoes of teachers for one day. You wouldn't last an hour. Look at yourselves first parents and ask "am I ivolved enough in my childs education?" Or am I someone who is mad because i rely on someone else to take care of my child because i'm too sorry to do it?

TParty
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TParty 12/09/11 - 08:47 am
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Scooby and Riverman are

Scooby and Riverman are right, and well said scooby.

I'll just add that parents play the biggest role in all of this. I remember Oprah got a lot of heat in the past because she built a school in South Africa. When asked why she didn't build one in America, she replied "When I ask American kids what they want, they say sneakers, iPods, jerseys, etc... When I ask the children in Africa what they want, they said chalkboards, books, writing material."

When parents do not take an active interest in the education of their child the effects are going to be detrimental. In poor areas, it's not always the case the parents don't care, it's the fact parents are working multiple jobs, or there is only one parent and they simply don't have the time to follow up on the school, and education.

Even in areas with higher income rates, most families are duel income. Parents expect the teachers to raise and educate their children, and a lot don't follow up because of the spent doing other things. Too much is put on the teachers, without any support or follow up.

Dudeness
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Dudeness 12/09/11 - 09:22 am
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I don't mind evaluating the

I don't mind evaluating the teachers, but I also would like to see some form of including a parent's involvement as a part of the student's grades. It is very difficult for a teacher to make up for crappy parenting, but if everyone's actions are being evaluated, then hopefully a good student will be the end result. I just don't believe that it is fair to grade the teacher and not the parent when either party could torpedo the child's education.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 12/09/11 - 12:16 pm
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I have a granddaughter who is

I have a granddaughter who is teaching in Summerville, SC. This is her first year. I am afraid that this might be her last year. She is not a teacher. She is the warden. Unruly kids are consuming most of her time and she gets no help from either the principal or the parents.

Carleton Duvall
6308
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Carleton Duvall 12/09/11 - 12:18 pm
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Young Fred, with all due

Young Fred, with all due respects you were wrong.

Riverman1
94431
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Riverman1 12/09/11 - 12:34 pm
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YoungFred, you keep your kid

YoungFred, you keep your kid out of school for a week and then refuse to be upfront with the school? Fred, step back a minute. If you want to homeschool your son and are qualified to do it, then, by all means do it if you want. But if you have him in the public school system play by the rules.

That's pretty rude to act that way toward the school people who are doing their job. You can't let kids take off a week to go fishing when they want to. Maybe you just weren't thinking clearly after an argument with a teacher? You should have taken him fishing over the holidays. Really, man, think about this.

Carleton Duvall
6308
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Carleton Duvall 12/09/11 - 12:48 pm
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RM1, I agree. A more

RM1, I agree. A more important issue though is that he is teaching his son that he can violate rules and suffer no consequences.

allhans
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allhans 12/09/11 - 01:12 pm
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It wasn't a week out of

It wasn't a week out of school, according to Young Fred it was one day and it happened last week.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 12/09/11 - 01:19 pm
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You may be right, allhans,

You may be right, allhans, but whether it was a day or a week the same principles apply.

Bruno
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Bruno 12/09/11 - 01:31 pm
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While I do not diminish the

While I do not diminish the role parents play in their children's upbringing, for the 8 hours a day that the teacher and the administration have them they are responsible for.
Parents need to teach their children how to behave and the moral and ethical lessons of life. Teachers need to teach the children math, English, sciences and civics. When the school system seeks to take the place of the parents then they, in no small part, give up the right to blame the parents. IMO.

soldout
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soldout 12/09/11 - 02:04 pm
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Put God back in school and

Put God back in school and evolution out and problems will be solved; guaranteed. It is like the old Muntz TV. They took a good tv and took out parts until it failed. After it failed they put the good part back in. In our school system they took parts out until it failed but can't bring themselves to put the good part back in.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 12/09/11 - 03:57 pm
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Okay, Fred, one day is not so

Okay, Fred, one day is not so bad. I've done the same thing. But why confront the school over it? Just say he was sick and be done with it.

hounddog
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hounddog 12/09/11 - 04:47 pm
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'But at the same time, we
Unpublished

'But at the same time, we must evaluate the teachers. We cannot, and must not simply allow them to skate. We cannot and must not rely on the teachers union for self “grading”. '
Very well said Young Fred

hounddog
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hounddog 12/09/11 - 04:51 pm
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‘Parents need to teach their
Unpublished

‘Parents need to teach their children how to behave and the moral and ethical lessons of life.’
If kids misbehave the only recourse the schools have is send them home.

noamsain
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noamsain 12/09/11 - 05:09 pm
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Wow..so much to say

Wow..so much to say here...Okay, Georgia teachers ARE evaluated already...by administrators, who themselves are former teachers. So to say all of a sudden they need to be evaluated is really not the right way to express this...

Also, as a teacher friend told me one day: Not everyone is raised like you were - and you don't know what they go home to everynight. You can't help what walks through the doors and some schools get a better shuffle of the deck than others.

Look at the areas and then the income level of those in an area, and you can get a great idea of where the better performing schools are and where you know they are gonna have a hard time making it...

If you allow students to evaluate teachers, then the popular ones will get good marks, and the really tough strict ones are going to suffer...because some kids are just going to see this as the time they can get even...

Parents are the first teachers...let's evaluate them! Some need to lose what they call raising.

harley_52
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harley_52 12/09/11 - 05:21 pm
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I agree with Young Fred,

I agree with Young Fred, except that I would have said "I had some things we needed to do together" instead of "none of your business."

Looking back on it, I wish I had occasionally done the same thing more often.

scoobynews
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scoobynews 12/09/11 - 05:34 pm
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Young Fred - As a teacher, I

Young Fred - As a teacher, I personally see no problem with a man wanting to spend time with his son but unfortunately we have this crazy thing called AYP. Because the NCLB act has been shoved down our throats we have to follow the rules even when they don't make much sense. AYP makes schools pick indicators for "passing" one of them is attendance. So any absences have an impact on whether a school makes it or not. Yes this is crazy considering the many parents who let their kids lay out of school just to stay home and sleep all day. This is clearly not what you did and yet you were made to feel punished for wanting to spend time with your child. Hopefully your son did the responsible thing and got his make up work the next day. I have so many that don't ask nor care when they are absent.

Craig Spinks
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Craig Spinks 12/09/11 - 06:03 pm
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Is public education important

Is public education important enough for citizens to work to improve it? Or is it only of insignificant import and, therefore, worthy only of cheap talk on various and sundry blogs?

Carleton Duvall
6308
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Carleton Duvall 12/09/11 - 06:31 pm
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Young Fred, I think it is

Young Fred, I think it is great for a father to spend time with his son, fishing, playing ball and whatever. You just went about it in the wrong way. This experience has taught him two things. One, it is ok to break rules and two, it is ok to wise off at school authorities. Don't be shocked if he emulates your conduct and gets into trouble.

harley_52
26126
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harley_52 12/09/11 - 07:02 pm
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Craig Spinks asked "Is public

Craig Spinks asked "Is public education important enough for citizens to work to improve it? Or is it only of insignificant import and, therefore, worthy only of cheap talk on various and sundry blogs?"

Sure it is important to citizens, but they are usually thwarted in their efforts by high paid, tenured academicians who deny their own part in the demonstrably failed system and continually whine for more and more money, but get less and less positive results.

Carleton Duvall
6308
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Carleton Duvall 12/09/11 - 07:21 pm
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Young Fred, I think that

Young Fred, I think that making it an annual event is an excellent idea. Next time, however, call the school ahead of time and say something like this, " Fred jr. and I need to take care of some personal matters tomorrow so he will not be in school". If they question you as to what the nature of your personal matter is say" I am sorry but its personal". Now, don't you agree that would be a better way to handle and teach your son at the same time.

harley_52
26126
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harley_52 12/09/11 - 07:36 pm
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Young Fred said "As a matter

Young Fred said "As a matter of fact, I'm considering making it an annual event."

If that's what you decide, twenty-five years from now you'll be happy you made that decision, in my honest opinion.

Carleton Duvall
6308
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Carleton Duvall 12/09/11 - 08:18 pm
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Fred, I am 87 years old. I

Fred, I am 87 years old. I have learned a long time ago and you will also as time goes by that you must play by the rules. Your son must play by the rules. It is not about unquestioning acceptance. We don't live on an island. We are a nation of laws(and rules). We must abide by them. We cannot pick and choose which to follow. If the speed limit is 55mph. I drive 55MPH although my car will do 130mph. Even at my age I would love to drive 130mph. I could do it with ease but I don't. If you don't like a law or rule don't violate it but try to get it changed. Do as I suggest, tell the school that you have personal business to do with your son. There is nothing naughty about that. I am closing. You seem to have your head screwed on right but I get the idea that you resent authority and you need to work on that. For both the good of yourself and your son. My authority is sitting on the sofa next to me sound asleep. When she wakes she will tell me what to do next. Have a nice evening.

Carleton Duvall
6308
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Carleton Duvall 12/09/11 - 09:21 pm
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Young Fred, You have a lot of

Young Fred, You have a lot of promise, more than most your age.If I have been of help to you today I feel that I have had a very good day. I apologize for coming on so strong with my first post but I wanted to get your attention. Any man that will take time off to go fishing with his son has to be a good person. I have grandsons about your age one with two children 12 and 14. I have had to get his attention a few times
so I know how to do it. BTW, the car is a 2011 BMW 535i and it is restricted to 130mph by governor.

madgerman
236
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madgerman 12/09/11 - 09:46 pm
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Maybe we need to look at the
Unpublished

Maybe we need to look at the leadership of teachers if we want results. Or maybe we need a re-write of the personnel standards and enforcement of those standards by an outside agency, not under the thumb of principals and the various deputoes. Or maybe we need an independant Inspector General office to handle complaints from teachers, parents and the taxpaying public. And while we are at it how about a transparent budget process which would show, every funds transfer and the purpose, in detail. But then again that would require voters to start really looking at school board candidates, which we are not willing to do because everyone believes in the good-ols-boy way of doing business and sercrecy is the one rule that must be followed. In closing what we need is another costly software program that no one will follow and no statistics to show usage.

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