Evaluating teachers based on student performance is 'punitive measure that demoralizes teachers'

Lauren Williams's picture
Monday, March 31, 2014

What is the policy of evaluating teachers on their students’ performance really about? Ostensibly, it is designed to improve public schools by holding teachers accountable. However, by failing to take into account several factors that impede student learning and over which teachers have no control, this policy is, in essence, a punitive measure that demoralizes teachers and drives many of them out of the teaching profession. The result will be the increasing privatization of education and the destruction of America’s public schools.

Moreover, when linked to merit pay, a divide-and-conquer strategy to pit teacher against teacher, this evaluation will also weaken the National Education Association, the nation’s largest labor union with its more than three million members, a development not unwelcome to corporate America.

How can public schools, many of which are located in inner-city poverty zones of crime, unemployment, poor housing and drugs, be realistically expected to educate children in such hopeless conditions, when city, state and federal government walked away from these inner cities decades ago?

This is a dark chapter in our country’s history, when Washington, D.C., state capitals and municipal government forsake the poor, writing them off as expendable. The richest nation in the world, the City on the Mountain, has become a third-world country for more than 46 million of its people, who go to bed hungry!

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