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A concerned member of the human race

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Should Anyone Care About My Overall APPR Rating?

A teacher is shadowed by his APPR score.

I read a Daily News article today entitled, "Parents make few requests for teacher evaluations in New York school districts."  I am not surprised when the state so nonchalantly rates close to 70% of NY's kids as failures over the past two years.  State evaluations seem to speak more to messed-up metrics than the ability of students.  My rating of "effective" tells you little to nothing about me.

It doesn't speak to my experience in the trade.  It doesn't speak to my academic achievements or my many interests in life.  It doesn't speak to my work ethic.  It doesn't speak to my outlook on life.  It doesn't speak to why I became a teacher.  It doesn't speak to the community I build in my classroom, my caring nature or the fact that I regard this whole evaluative system which seeks to disrupt education (both for student and teacher) as sheer nonsense.

The best way for a student or a parent to learn about teachers, including whether a teacher is easy or challenging, is through word of mouth, not some almost meaningless number.

So who cares about my rating?  Surely not me.  Surely not my students.  The only people who really seem to care are those who were hoping to justify the firing of more teachers.  Maybe, just maybe, it's not the teachers who are unqualified.  Maybe it's the "reformers" who need to be reformed.

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