California passes Rate-My-Teacher

California’s Rate-My-Teacher Act, which has passed the Legislature, lets students and faculty develop surveys to encourage student feedback on their teachers.

The law has nice intentions, but no kick, writes Coach Brown, a California high school teacher.

-Teachers may choose whether or not to use the student surveys.

-Only the teachers may see the result of the surveys.

-Administrators or district officials are not allowed to see the survey results without written consent of the teacher.

-The surveys can’t be a part of any evaluation or be placed in a teachers record.

Coach Brown asks his government and history students to evaluate him every year; he  shares the results.

I do the form because I think students give some of the best feedback, although I’m also well aware that we are dealing with teenagers. Still, a vast majority of the feedback is very valid, even if some of it won’t change my teaching.

. . .  Oh, and the excuse that the “easy” teachers will get better reviews doesn’t hold much water either. Students don’t want their time wasted, and the phrase “Dude, you don’t have to do shit in his/her class” is not one of respect. Tough teachers that are good teachers get their props, and that is shown over and over again when talking to students, every kind of student.

That said, he doesn’t want students’ reviews used for teacher retention.

I agree that students tend to like demanding teachers, but I’d be very nervous about trusting a bunch of teens to evaluate teachers’ competence.

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Comments

  1. Homeschooling Granny says:

    “I agree that students tend to like demanding teachers, but I’d be very nervous about trusting a bunch of teens to evaluate teachers’ competence.”

    The students opinions should have some place in the evaluation. It should be possible for psychologists to devise some questions that would elicit useful information about teachers while guarding against the shortcomings of a teenage world view.

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