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In Performance Evaluations, Subjectivity Is Not Random


Thanks for a well-written piece on an important subject.

It's always good to see a piece that is written in a calm, concise, and professional manner. You're right that discrimination is not always blatant. Favoritism can be subtle, but palpablee, like when the favored teachers always get the air-conditioned classrooms, or have access to the principal's private conference room where there's always a well-stocked copy machine. Seniority rules, tenure, and contractually-negotiated salary steps keep these teachers from also getting undeserved higher salaries. There is no way to objectively evaluate the teacher who works with the mentally-retarded children who never take the state tests, nor the speech pathologist who works with average-intelligence-but-severely-learning-disabled students. There is no way to give value-added measures to an art teacher or a music teacher. Who, then, would qualify for these wonderful, merit-based, higher salaries? Would the rest of us be condemned to benefitless minimumg-wage teaching positions?

Employers need to be accountable for staff and recruit teams that work well together. If an employer doesn't like an employee he or she should get rid of them if the employer or boss can't operate well. A fit matters. Both are better off in the long run.

Taking in to ocnsideration that teachers need to evaluate their students objectively and are using rubrics to do so, then why are there not objective guidelines in place for performance based evaluations. It is imperative to be fair to students that the teachers evaluation be very objective. This same rule should also apply to evaluating the teachers.

I'm having a hard time getting a handle on this statement. "For one thing, discrimination-prone measures used for pay, security, etc., by their very nature, threaten efficiency and effectiveness as much as anything. If stereotypes about social groups – and not just merit – always color our views of teachers’ performance, that is bad for students." Especially in combination with the comment by Joan above concerning teamwork and fitting in. Poor teamwork / fit / environmental alignment can also cause a loss of effectiveness and efficiency. There is a level of give and take between the two views.


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