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TEACHERS: Evaluations are a waste of time

Letter by Lyle Laws, Puyallup on June 14, 2010 at 11:18 am with 4 Comments »
June 15, 2010 10:12 am

I spent thirty years as a teacher and as an administrator in the Tacoma School District and can say that teacher evaluations are not only a monumental waste of time, but an obscene waste of taxpayer dollars.

Since building principals have to continue to work with those being evaluated, they tend to greatly overstate the positive. When they do write an evaluation that might get someone dismissed, teacher union representatives are there to defend them before the ink gets dry.

If a building principal spends an average of four hours per evaluation, at $50 an-hour that comes to about $8,000, or $200 per teacher. Washington State schools employ more than 50,000 teachers.

Do the math.

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  1. BigSwingingRichard says:

    Mr Laws: I must say that your “logic” is backwards.

    You seem to say that since the unions have too much control over teacher evaluations, the evaluations are worthless. The problem is not the evaluations, the problem is too much union influence.

    Here’s an idea – how about we get rid of the unions and let the principals do the job of evaluating teachers. This way, public schools can start operating based on what is best for kids, and not based on what is best for the adults, like we do now.

  2. johnearl says:

    “If a building principal spends an average of four hours per evaluation, at $50 an-hour that comes to about $8,000, or $200 per teacher. Washington State schools employ more than 50,000 teachers.

    Do the math.”

    OK, I just did the math.

    Where does the figure of $8,000 come from and why is it relevant to this equation at all?

  3. Well, I guess the only option is to get rid of the principals then if doing their job takes too much of their otherwise valuble time. While we’re at it, we could also get rid of the Vice Principals, the Assistant Principals and most of the office staff. Other than doing appraisals on teachers, what else does a principal do? If they are making fifty bucks an hour and the teachers unions run the school what is this person’s job? I was a manager of over 120 people and still found time to supervise and to prepare annual appraisals on those front line supervisors under my immediate control. What’s the big deal? Could it be that the unions just don’t want any supervisory control over the teachers?

  4. PumainTacoma says:

    Heck, why even have tests for that matter, the attitude from the ME generation seems to be everyone should have a trophy at the end of the day and forget junior varsity sports, everyone gets to play regardless of ability. Why don’t we just forget about getting out of bed in the morning and even working for that matter. Striving for success is a BIG WASTE OF TIME for many people. I am so glad this teacher does not work at my business. Where people are measured on value added, incentive, attitude and customer feedback.

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