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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Frank Denton wants to take an axe to teachers, put their evaluations on-line

Frank Denton wants to take an axe to teachers, put their evaluations on-line

People were rightfully outraged when papers in New York City put on-line where the owners of guns lived. The papers excuse my metaphor, fired back saying they had a civic duty to do so but we all know they were just engaging in sensationalism. Sadly the Times Union didn’t learn the lesson and now they want to put every teachers evaluation on-line and they to use the line it is their civic duty to do so.

“Our making them available will allow parents and others to identify the many great teachers, as well as weaker ones,” Denton said. “Furthermore, given the checkered history of this state data, sunshine will allow the public to make their own evaluation of its quality.”

Mr. Denton however doesn’t mention that all teachers’ evaluations are already available. All parents have to do is go down to the school board building and check out their files.  I imagine to do so would lessen the importance of the Times Union printing them.

I might actually agree with Denton in some fashion, parents should be encouraged to be involved and know their teachers but the problem is the paper he works for has a long history of being anti-teacher and an even longer history of not presenting all the facts. Unfortunately I can’t see anything they put on line having context or background. Instead it will just be a bunch of numbers that will make an already tough job tougher.

I know this because they haven’t run articles on the value added formula and its problems, the dangers of basing evaluations on standardized tests, the student success bill, the poorly named C.A.S.T. system and most importantly, at least here in Jacksonville, is they gave the last superintendent pass after pass after he appointed poor leader after poor leader. You know what poor leaders do? They give poor evaluations.

It is a dirty little secret that the best teachers can get poor evaluations if the principal doesn’t like them and the worst can get good ones if the principal wants it to happen

The Times Union isn’t trying to do a civic duty and inform the public; no they are delving into sensationalism at the expense of teachers to sell a few more papers.


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