Thursday, May 19, 2011
Please Explain To Me How The New York State Method Of "Value Added" Can Be Used For What This Teacher Does On A Daily Basis?
Now that New York State has come up with their ridiculous teacher evaluation scheme to determine whether a teacher is "effective" or "ineffective" It would be easy to tear this program apart. However, this post will not explore the many uncertainties, problems, or the mathematical formula that would need the IBM supercomputer "Watson" to figure out. Instead, I will write about a certain teacher who spends both her lunch and preparation periods to help struggling students, without any monetary compensation.
The teacher I am talking about is a senior teacher, close to retirement, and looking forward to the days she can travel the world anytime she wants. It would be easy for this teacher, with over 30 years of experience, to coast her way into retirement. Instead, day after day you can find this teacher sitting on the floor with her back against the wall in the hallway outside the teacher's cafeteria working with a struggling student who had sought her out for help in mastering the subject. Many of these students are her students, but quite a few are students of other teachers who have heard that this teacher is always available to work with them. I have never seen her refuse any student who needed her help.
Here is a women, a "baby boomer", who is working with students on a daily basis sitting on the floor along a well traveled hallway to help any student that needs her services. My question is how does the State's teacher evaluation system account for what this teacher does? What value is added to her grade for her sacrifice of personal time for the students in need? The answer is that the teacher evaluation system cannot determine what she does in her "value added" grade and that is the problem. Because for the many students she helps on a daily basis it is a "no-brainier" that to them she is "highly effective", no matter what grade she would end up with under the New York State teacher evaluation system. What this women does has no numerical value but is "priceless" when it comes to the students that seek her help.