Published: Friday, Sept. 13 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
As an old teacher, I think the idea of grading schools is wonderful and long
overdue.But the system here needs an overhaul. Care must be taken
to grade schools based on things the school controls and must find a way to weed
out those beyond the capability of the school and teachers to influence.Such things as student attendance and parental support are outside the
walls of the school. I question why one of the reasons for schools'
failures has had something to do with too few students taking year end tests.
Do students simply fail to show up, or is the school somehow failing to test
them?There are many unanswered questions, but it is apparent that
this is a good idea that might become valuable -- only after it has undergone
some serious overhauling.
So your organization favors a system of ranking schools that basically follows
economic ranking. Sure there are a few outliers but the schools grades are more
of a measure of parent income than school achievement. Do you also support a
system where there also has to be failures and not everybody can succeed, i.e. a
somewhat normal distribution? You claim that 89% of teachers support this,
please be clear that it is only 89% of your surveyed members. How many members
do you have in your Association in Utah? Transparency goes both was Ms. Smith.
There is nothing simple about this system. And when you grade on a curve, as it
does, you are telling some schools they will fail no matter what. That is just
plain wrong. It hit me hard the other day that we talk about a lot of things in
school. But we never talk about learning. The whole idea of school is to teach
students to learn. The tests don't always tell the story. But kids tell the
The idea that 89% of the teachers support this grading system is ludicrous. The
teachers that might support this are charter teachers who think everything the
legislature does is wonderful and maybe some teachers in these affluent schools
that do well. Every other teacher I would surmise thinks this evaluation
instrument is stupid. And if any teacher thinks this instrument is a good one,
they should have their heads examined. Because if they are evaluating their
students learning based on three bubble tests, they wouldn't be fit to be
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