top of page
  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Bad teachers: We can get rid of bad rookies, but we're stuck with the veterans

Teacher-evaluation reforms were a flop, explains Tim Daly, who worked hard in his days at TNTP to get bad teachers out of schools.


Cameron Diaz played the lead in "Bad Teacher"

Using value-added scores to evaluate teachers confused and alienated everyone, he writes. It was way too technical. Teachers believed -- correctly -- that teachers with challenging students in high-poverty schools would not be judged fairly compared to teachers with "easy-to-teach" students.


Reformers should have focused on achievable goals, such as "improving the feedback teachers receive" about their teaching, writes Fordham's Michael Petrilli


Little changed --"almost every teacher in the country still receives positive evaluations from their principals" -- except for increased hostility to testing, he writes.


It's impossible to fire experienced but not very effective teachers in all but a few states, Petrilli believes. But "we could make significant progress on weeding out bad teachers in their first few years of service, before they get tenure protections or come anywhere close to a pension payout."


In other countries, it's more common to "pay teachers well but keep the rest of the staffing system lean and mean," Petrilli writes. Classes are larger with "fewer non-instructional personnel, fewer administrators, and in general fewer teacher-helpers."


We have embraced a system whereby we pay teachers relatively low salaries, which attracts mediocre candidates (on average), and then we hire coaches, instructional aides, and myriad other personnel to try to help those mediocre teachers do a better job with their students.

That doesn't leave money to raise teacher pay significantly.


Denying tenure to ineffective rookie teachers is doable, Petrilli writes. "We can usually tell within the first few years if someone is likely to be a strong teacher."

187 views8 comments

Recent Posts

See All

8 comentários


superdestroyer
7 days ago

Maybe someone should find the state with the highest teacher turnover and see what its NAEP scores look like. Or maybe compare all the school districts in the state by teacher turnover and see what the districts with the highest turnover have in common.


Anecdotally, I have had several relatives who gave up being teachers because the first few years seems to be a hazing period where the new teachers had to teach the worst students in the poorest performing schools.

Curtir

ptpublic
7 days ago

I'm sure we could find a system to remove the bottom 10% of teachers, depending on how you defined it. The question is, who is going to replace them when we already have unfilled jobs?


Curtir
Heresolong
Heresolong
4 days ago
Respondendo a

I think you may be conflating "has a credential" with "trained for teaching". 😁

Curtir

buy
7 days ago

Every school knows exactly who the bad teachers are, and there already is a very strong feedback system in every single school. Every year, when the classroom assignments come out for the next year, schools know which teachers parents are desperate to avoid, which teachers parents beg the school to transfer their kid away from, even those teachers which will prompt parents to say they'll leave the school rather than be stuck for a year with that teacher.


Sure, that feedback can be tainted by personal issues and miscommunication, but parents pick up and share a lot of information about what is happening in classrooms.


Schools should focus on those teachers, find out what the main complaints seem to be,…


Curtir

Jim Daniels
Jim Daniels
7 days ago

TNTP is garbage. They send carpetbagger "consultants" and managers into cities where they've lived for nary a blink of the eye and act like they've got all of the answers to urban education's woes. Most of their alleged experts are not experienced teachers or administrators. Where is Michelle Rhee today, by the way? Remember when she was touted as the great savior of public education??

Curtir
Joanne Jacobs
Joanne Jacobs
7 days ago
Respondendo a

Follow the Tim Daly link. He admits that much of what you say was true.

Curtir

Darren Miller
Darren Miller
7 days ago

I just went through my last "evaluation" process of my career, as I retire in 3 years. I put "evaluation" in quotation marks, though, because I wasn't really evaluated. No, I was given some teaching standards and told to provide evidence that I met each of those standards (whether I did or not). For example, a picture of my Snoopy sign saying "Welcome to Mr. Miller's class" is evidence that I create a warm and inviting environment for students.


Actually, we don't have an evaluation system in my district. Rather, we have a System of Professional Growth. It's all done by the teachers themselves, and the principal looks over it and signs off on it.


Why do we have no…


Curtir
bottom of page