Excellent piece.Furthermore, our state only worsens the problem by
constantly demeaning educators. In 2012, our state ramrodded through (with the
help of pro-voucher interest groups) a new teacher evaluation tool. This
"tool" will now base a teacher's salary on surveys given to parents
and students.Parents and students happy or satisfied with their
education? Typically won't respond. But guess who does? Yep, you guessed
it, the bad parents and students. You know, the ones miffed at the teacher for
standing his/her ground on grading. The result? Teachers will
continue to have fewer standards and principals will continue to change grades
so that everyone gets a good star and no one complains.All thanks,
to our Utah legislature. Apparently, being a nurse of real estate agent makes
you an expert at education. The only way to get education back, is
to rip it away from our legislature and allow teachers to pass or fail kids. It
is up to parents and students to earn their grades, not the teachers.
You are correct. However, there has to be some measurement standard. Grades
plus standardized testing? In light of this editorial, D. of Ed. national
standards might be an appropriate thing in the face of international
competition. Leaving it up to mediocre or poor localities is the surest way to
get mediocre or poor results. It's just an excuse to spend less and not
make the effort.
Customer evaluations should be considered. But if the customers are
adolescents,an inherently irresponsible class of people, perhaps the
consideration ought to be tempered. The toughest and best teachers are often
dissed by students who look back with appreciation on them later in life.
The sad thing is that the legislature has been trying to remove protections from
teachers such as tenure or union protections (unions don't protect bad
teachers, they protect the process when firing teachers) which exposes them to
the ire of parents and students who want a good grade for no effort. I teach
school and this pressure is real. Patrons think you are a good teacher when
their children earn good grades and you are a bad teacher when they earn bad
grades. I agree that tenure should be reformed to make it easier to get rid of
the truly bad teachers, but to expose teachers to such a culture and then expect
them to make geniuses out of these kids is just impossible.
Simple answer:Because testing our kids to death and setting teachers
up to fail on ridiculous and overbearing evaluations makes public education look
bad. Our legislature wants to stuff vouchers down our throat and eventually
privatize public education. Humiliating teachers and intentionally hurting
students enough that the public finally agrees to privatizing public education
is their goal.We could change all this by voting these bums out.
It would be difficult for the American culture to let go of the "straight
A" mentality.Grade inflation is a big problem because it does not test
true academic skill and ability.I was educated overseas where rigorous
academic standards considered 50% as a passing grade. My grades hovered in the
70-80% and I was considered smart. When I came to the states I was able to test
out a lot college courses...and that was after I was out of school for three
Since we now live in an anti-responsibility society, I do not look forward to
merit pay based on student and parent evaluations. If I give my students the
grades they truly deserve, some of them and their parents could evaluate me as a
poor teacher. The teachers who are perceived as "more fun" will be paid
Teachers want job security like everyone else. The teachers that hold their
students accountable like they probably should, and give lower grades for
substandard work are often in the principal's office explaining themselves
to irate parents.
One step is to adjust grading on a bell curve and then remove letter grades
altogether and just stay strictly with a percent grade out of 100. Then you
wouldn't have all these professors taking a grade of 89% or 88% and making
it an "A" which indicates a grade between 90 and 100.
Something like grade inflation is present in the military. Their idea to fix it
is to implement a new system, but the core of the problem is left, and
it'll come back.
Agree.Mark Twain once wrote, "I've never let schooling get
in the way of my education".Paul Simon opined, "When I think
back on all the (expletive) I learned in high school...it's a wonder I can
think at all".
Those students from the photo (probably from some charter or private school
judged by their school uniforms) look they are enthused about their