Tag: evaluating teachers

President Obama Opts Out of High Stakes Testing

Finally. In the twilight of his Presidency, President Obama seems to feel free to say what he really thinks about guns and racial profiling and climate change and…testing. Yes, he’s sorry about all of those high stakes standardized tests like PARCC that I have been bemoaning since I started blogging two years ago. A comprehensive... Read more »

Thoughts About Good Teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week

Forty-five years ago, I stood in front of my students at Niles East High School in Skokie, Illinois, and tried to breathe life into A Tale of Two Cities. For a rookie English teacher, it was definitely “the best of times and the worst of times.” Some of them loved the book but there were... Read more »

Think Education Today

Today, December 9, 2013, is Raise Your Hand Day. In its message to Congress, the National Education Association asks our politicians to champion student success by “meeting the needs of the whole child.” That means more emphasis on addressing issues like poverty, hunger, homelessness and sub-standard housing, violence, and unemployment, and less on standards and testing... Read more »

Teachers Who Love Testing

The first grade teacher tests her students in reading at the start of school.  Amazingly, none of them do very well, which is a bit strange because some of them have been reading well for a year.  Children who are strong readers bring home very simple books, as dictated by their scores.  One child is... Read more »

Is there a fair way to evaluate teachers?

Fewer make the grade!  New state standards a jolt, particularly in poorer areas! Yesterday’s Chicago Tribune devoted much of the front page and two inside pages to the newly released Illinois school report card. Because the 2013 exams were made harder, test scores plummeted, especially in “poorer communities.”  Are these scores really the best way... Read more »

Mr. Rogers and Dr. Seuss Would Have Hated Standardized Testing!

A friend of mine who trains Chicago public elementary school teachers how to teach reading was lamenting how stressful her job had become.  While she was excited about some new techniques that enabled teachers to differentiate for their students, I asked her how a teacher with 30+ young students could manage having all of them... Read more »

Good Teaching is an Art, Not a Mathematical Formula

After being a teacher for seven years and supervising teachers for 25 years, I still firmly believe that teaching is a calling and good teaching is an art.  As wonderful as it may seem to find an objective mathematical formula for evaluating teachers, people who have worked with teachers over a period of time will... Read more »