Bill would use student performance to rate teachers

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20110705_Bill_would_use_student_performance_to_rate_teachers.html?page=1&c=y

Pennsylvania is planning to introduce legislation that would use standardized test scores as a large(50%) part of how teachers are rated.  While I agree that the system of rating teachers needs to improve this is not the way to do it.  This is quite frankly, absurd.  A good teacher is complex, they encourage a lifelong love of learning in addition to helping their students achieve proficiency in their subject matter.  Using a standardized test to measure teacher performance increases the likelihood of teaching to the test and even cheating.  Teaching to the test is not teaching and students learn nothing other than passing that specific test.  There is no knowledge for them to take and assimilate and then apply, no critical thinking.  Nothing.  We need to observe are teachers, evaluate their methods of teaching, then look at what the students have learned, not merely through a test, but through projects, research papers, oral reports.  Evaluations that show an understanding of concepts, not how well they remember some names and dates.

Who knows more, the student who has only memorized the names and dates of American History or the student who understands why these events occurred, who participated in these events and why, and how these events shaped the course of history?

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