I am a mother, a former Americorps volunteer in Tacoma’s schools and by nearly every measure a bleeding-heart, liberal, progressive Euro-Socialist. I do not support the teacher’s position in this strike.
That the teachers want a pay raise and smaller class sizes in this economy is barely worth comment.
The fact that teachers refuse to submit to evaluations with any kind of consequence – i.e. who is transferred where – shows that they are out of touch with today’s world. Nearly every working adult is evaluated by their supervisor, with real consequences to their pay or promotions.
The teachers say that the district’s proposed evaluation (with a six-point rubric) is too subjective and it is better to stick with the current “objective” system of seniority.
Seniority, for all it’s objectivity, tells us very little about teachers other than years of service and nothing about whether they fit within the culture or needs of a particular classroom or school.
Teachers themselves should know that the most objective evaluation of students –
true/false or multiple-choice tests – shows us very little about actual learning. The best evaluations – projects, essays, presentations – are graded somewhat subjectively, with very real consequences in their grades, college prospects, etc., by the teacher’s themselves.
It’s time for teachers to suck it up and enter the world the rest of us live in.