Published: Tuesday, March 19 2013 10:45 p.m. MDT
All you need to do is ask the parents at each school who are the good teachers.
We don't need some fancy evaluation process. The parents know at each and
every school what teacher they want for their children. It isn't that
hard.Once that has been determined, we should reward those teacher
handsomely. Unfortunately in our society, the worst teachers make the same pay
as the best teachers. The best teachers almost always have a bigger work load
as well because more students want to be in their classes. So here
is how we run things. Be a lousy teacher, get the same pay, have a smaller work
load. Yeah that makes a lot of sense.
@ Orem Parent.Why might the "fancy evaluation" process be
needed even if parents can generally pick the best teachers for their students
if they really want too?I bet you can come up with some good reasons
if you think about it. There are plenty.
How about if we get rid of the low performing teachers early in their career?Do it for The Children!Are we more concerned about union
members keeping jobs for life (for which they are ill suited, not necessarily
bad people, just not good teachers) or with preparing our kids for a lifetime of
success by getting them a good educational foundation?Are you with
the unions, or the children?
@orem parent"...All you need to do is ask the parents at each
school who are the good teachers. We don't need some fancy evaluation
process. The parents know at each and every school what teacher they want for
their children. It isn't that hard...".The other side of
that story...All you need to do is ask the teachers at each school
who are the good parents. We don't need some fancy evaluation process. The
teachers know at each and every school what parent they would want for a child.
It isn't that hard.
Remember that one of the reasons some less successful teachers are able to stay
in Utah schools is that there is no one else who wants their job.
Steve Cottrell -- that is an absolutely EXCELLENT comment!In my long
experience in Utah classrooms, I learned that parents frequently DO NOT know who
the best teachers are. Too often, they reflect what they hear from their kids
at home. I've known many absolutely excellent teachers -- teachers who had
high standards and worked hard to help students meet them -- who were condemned
as "too strict" or "too demanding."Teaching is, much
too often, a no-win game.There you go from St. George also has an
excellent idea. Let's let teachers evaluate parents. The foundations of
good learning are parents working alongside good teachers. One cannot succeed
without full cooperation from the other.Also take time to read an
article that appears just below -- Better School Discipline. This is a much
larger argument that simply one of Good Teacher/Bad Teacher; Good Parent/Bad
Parent; Union/Non-union; Money/No money.
To "Steve Cottrell" actually you are wrong. Each year there are lots of
people who apply for teaching jobs uner the ARL program that the state has.
There are so many people applying that they can't hire all of them. Again,
get rid of the bad teachers.If we allow parents to choose which
teacher is for their kids, then I have no problem allowing teachers to choose
which kids they get as long as the school gets to assign kids if there is room
DN Subscriber I have often asked you to do a modicum of research on the subject
of the union and teacher evaluations in Utah. Clearly,you are not interested in
the facts so I will once again, try to educate on the facts.The UEA
in collaboration with Senator Osmond, USOE, and the School Boards Association
collaborated on SB64 last year. It holds all public ed employees to high
standards, allows for 120 working days for remediation/termination, prohibits
the transfer of employees with unsatisfactory performance and does not allow for
these employees to advance in salary.I hope that the anti-teacher
union rhetoric would stop. In Utah, we have amazing teachers and they are
members of the UEA. Respect them for the job they do under terrible
circumstances. PLEASE check out this new law. When you do, you will no longer be
able to blame the union for all that you feel are the problems in education.
I agree with this comment from Orem Parent..."So here is how we
run things. Be a lousy teacher, get the same pay, have a smaller work load. Yeah
that makes a lot of sense."I end up with 35 kids in my class
because I do a good job and the kids and parents know it. Meanwhile the teacher
down the hall has 18-20 per class. My test scores are between 15-20% higher on
the CRT test at the end of the year. What do I get for those scores? More
work. Plus my scores aren't reported as my scores. They are reported as
our school's scores so mine are averaged with the lousy teacher's
scores making me look even worse. It is crazy.
If the best teachers can be identified within the first two years, then why is
the only way to be financially rewarded is to go back to school for a masters
degree? If the teacher is effective already, why would a teacher need a masters
degree to teach the same/similar curriculum each year?
The real problem is that it is almost impossible to get rid of the bad teachers.
I have several close friends, and several other relatives, who are teachers.
They all say they know that their schools have some awful teachers, but there is
nothing that can be done about it. The teachers union protects them and
administrators are too afraid to take any action. The result is we are stuck
with a segment of poor teachers in each school that drag down the whole system.
There is another incredible fact buried in this research which is not really
surprising but that explains why Utah schools are mediocre at best. Teachers
improve dramatically in the first 2-3 years of teaching. And yet we have a
revolving door of young 20 something teachers in our schools that make up a
large % of our total teachers. I was stunned when we moved to Utah only to find
young, just out of college teachers made up 20% and more of the teachers in some
schools. One of our children even had a first year teacher teaching an AP
class!!! Needless to say, our child almost had to learn the material on his own
at home.Utah schools use cheap, young teachers to hold down costs.
But they do it to the detriment of the children. Shame on School Boards for
allowing this, and shame on parents and taxpayers for voting in the school
boards who support the hiring of so many young teachers.Older
tenured teachers who shouldn't be in the classroom because they are poor
teachers is another topic entirely...
If we evaluated politicians like teachers, we'd have a prosperous country.
Bad teachers? How can that be when they are simply puppets of the state?
They're told what, and how to teach. A common core cooperative.
I suppose they think they can also predict which children will grow up to be
successful.These "studies" seem to stretch the imagination
more each day. In my experience, numbers (used inductively) say nothing about
Only 32% of 8th graders in UT are proficient readers. 32%.UT
schools are awful. Utah kids underperform NYC kids. So kids from good homes
(comparatively) are beat by kids from the Bronx/Brooklyn/Queens (where most
babies are born to single moms on welfare). Then consider that the US falls
near the bottom compared to other industrialized nations. It's
inexcusable.UT kids are not prepared for college. They are not
prepared to compete in the real world. If you think they are, then you have
clearly never worked in a major city. We must fire the worst 20% of
teachers. Period. Ask the teachers in the school. They know the bad teachers.
Don't you think a good 5th grade teacher is tired of getting the kids the
year after they've wasted a year in 4th grade with a bad teacher? Again, UT public school are AWFUL and it's the fault of the
teachers and administrators. Get rid of the bad teachers now and pay the good
ones significantly more money.
DrGroovey, what you said is just not true. If administration does their job,
bad teachers are let go. There is due process before letting a teacher go, but
it is more about administration not doing their jobs than it is about the union.
The fact it is not a union, it is an association with very little power in Utah
is another story.
So why can't we have a system where a teacher is under a 3 year
"probationary" period? They get full salary, but aren't guaranteed
long term employment until after they have met whatever guidelines their
district sets up. Not only would these new teachers try harder, but maybe the
bad ones would weed themselves out within the first few years. I'm all for
a little parent input, but I think that ultimately, the district should set up,
and follow, a system for performance.
Joseywales - Why use a 3 year period - I don't get a 3 year period at my
job nor do I give my employees a three year period. If my employees have a bad
month they are gone. Teachers should be even more scrutinized than my
employees. The stakes for teachers are much greater.
Well,for sure there are good, average and lousy teachers. We all realize that.
The problem is that there is precious little room to talk about how to rectify
that situation but all kinds of room to yack about per-pupil funding. No one
ever points out that 100% of personal state income tax goes to education in
Utah, the biggest percentage by far in the nation, or that Washington DC schools
have grundles of money and very poor results.When I was in high
school we joked that a certain individual taught school because "he
couldn't get a real job in industry." He wasn't our favorite and
I don't believe we learned as much from him as we should or could have
learned.I doubt we'll ever see education reform in this state
with good teachers rewarded while poor ones are set aside; all still teach.Also:Utah Teacher should be happy to be on the upper-half of the average
instead of being bitter about it. Seeking credit is self-serving. Knowing you
are part of the solution should be rewarding. Help others be better, don't
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