Evaluations of Teachers
Teacher’s performance in a class should not be evaluated considering only the test results of a student. Different students have different capabilities hence unfair to shift this burden to the teachers. It is problematic to grade teachers and assess their performance compared to other professions. For instance product or company managers interact at a more cloYer and convenient level with many people who contribute differently towards perfecting the end product. CEOs also have to focus their energy to producing sales and earnings which meet the set targets. But teachers, in almost all circumstances work alone in a classroom and their job is overseen by mostly one person appointed to head an institution and the outcome of their job, more informed and educated students is almost impossible to quantify.
Though a student’s performance may be a contributing factor in the evaluation and effectiveness of a teacher, tying the test score to a teacher’s effectiveness is more likely to reduce and narrow the curriculum in most learning institutions and limit teaching to passing of tests only in a class instead of exposing students and focusing on their strengths. I do not support the evaluation that is solely based to the test scores since it is subject to many flaws and statistically erroneous. Test score should serve to determine the sectors a student is weak and require more guidance to enhance improvement. It is possible for a student to be good in one area and perform poorly in another. This proves that if a teacher is evaluated in an area the student is strong or weak; it is not evidently proven that the teacher did not deliver in the student’s weak areas.
It is wrong to equate what a student knows to what has been taught to him by a teacher or an instructor. What one knows largely depends on the willingness of the learner and how active one is in research and practice. It is rare to have this case being directly correlated. It is possible for a teacher being evaluated to get credit he does not deserve. A student may learn something from different sources and not necessarily from his teacher or at school. It is fair to evaluate a teacher’s capability by randomly distributing a group of students with previous achievement uniformly spread across the test scale for balance, and the issuing a common test to all. Is is unfair and not standardized to compare a ten points gain in reading and a ten points gain in science.
In most institutions, teachers ratings in performance is not consistent in consecutive years hence if this evaluation system is implemented it would bring misclassification. If a teacher is rated using same bunch of students taking the same subject but with different tests, different outcomes are observed meaning it is hard to standardize the process. This confirms how hard it is to identify a poor teacher and a better one using test results for students. In a class comprising of a mixture of students but with a teacher rated poor, it has been witnessed that a substantial number of students will still perform regardless of the teachers rating.
Though most statistical data are correct, it is hard to separate a teacher’s influence on a student’s performance and learning gains from other critical factors such as peer effects, social factors and the intelligent quotient. To base a teacher’s tenure decisions and evaluation on examination results may be determined by the teacher student relationship and interaction. This determines how well a student and the teacher interact and the flow of information. Factors such as a student’s background and family life should not be overlooked in the evaluation process. Most of these factors and variables are difficult to capture in statistical models used for the evaluation. Children from rich families learn more even during holidays as compared to those from poor families hence they are expected to perform better. If a teacher is evaluated on this outcome, it reflects wrong and unreliable results. Such concerns affecting a student’s life should be considered in grading or evaluating the effectiveness of a teacher.
Normally, tying a student’s test results to a teacher’s pay should be aimed at raising the effectiveness and performance of a teacher but this is contrary to the intended results that is improving a student’s performance. Learning is tested through test scores and it is the responsibility of a teacher to ensure each student is uplifted in his weak sectors. If this is not achieved, then other measures will only enhance supporting of a teacher and not their effectiveness. This ensures that student learning is the main aim in teaching.
According to statistical data, it has been proven that teachers who have the interest of students at heart do not last long in this career. Mostly they will leave for further education or other careers. Attempts to use the test score data to evaluate and marginalize teachers into categories are not without problems. Teachers are human beings who have different character traits proving that an orderly and calm class to one teacher is a source of boredom to another. Any efforts established to improve learning should be focused more in making each teacher the best and this transcend to students hence a general benefit to the majority.
The responsibilities allocated to a teacher besides teaching may be hindrances to his or her delivery in class. If a teacher is relieved of other administrative and managerial duties and allocated more time in preparing for a class, better results would be observed which would enhance dedicating more time to class work by teachers. It would be faulty and baseless to determine the promotions or pay grade of teacher based on the student’s performance. The analogy is has in the recent past gained popularity in private learning institutions. The evaluation is not broad enough and not fair to base when rewarding professionals. Quantitative measures have been condemned by experts as not stable or reliable means of reviewing the capability of humans.
Different teachers will employ different techniques in educating their students. A class of students is composed of individuals who mostly are brought together by age factor. This means that a class is not a monolith. Each individual learns at his own frequency and the degree of understanding and perspective varies from one person to another. To evaluate what each student has gained should be subjected to the history of an individual’s education life. Students who have been frequently subjected to tests are more likely to perform better than those who are tested occasionally. This may be beyond a teachers control meaning evaluating these teachers using test scores is not viable and should not be practiced at all.
It is hard to devise completely effective metrics that can be applied in evaluating human beings since most of them are unpredictable hence difficult to plan for. This defies the many theories postulated by economists and the statistics. This mode of evaluation despite being implemented in some regions does not improve or make the teaching profession better or save the weak students. Setting up schools as businesses has lead to downgrading the core essence of education. Learning should be aimed at giving and exposing students to different chances to explore their interests and capabilities.
Teachers should be judged according to their teaching and performance while at work. This entails a wide range of parameters instead of just considering a piece of paper with test results only. The concept of linking the effectiveness of a teacher to the test score may be important but educating a child is more complicated and entails more than what is reflected on the result slip. Limiting teacher’s evaluation test score only would mean more competition between teachers and this exposes students to more harm. The process devalues education and may end up harming all the stake holders involved.