While I think this bill shows progress there is one glaring flaw. A majority of
school administrators in secondary education come from PE backgrounds. They
would be great at evaluating other teachers/coaches who teach PE but they
wouldn't understand the depth of most other subjects. If this
bill were to be implemented it would be better served that experts of individual
areas would be part of the review process. Most teachers are not afraid of
being reviewed, but most administrators (and unfortunately the majority are
former physical ed) do not understand subject content such as Dance, Foreign
Languages, Math, Physics, Drama, History, Choir, Mythology, Agricultural Ed,
Mechanics, Ceramics, etc. With so many subjects it would be next to
impossible and unfair to come up with a rubrics that would address all subjects.
Let alone, have a leader with a foreign background to the teacher being
reviewed.However, the bill right now is better than the alternate.
Maybe you speak for your children's high school. At our high school our
head principal was a coach and a history teacher, one of our assistant
principals taught English for over 25 years and her peers would consider hwe one
of the best that ever taught the subject, another assistant principal has a
history background while another taught Special Education. The idea that
administrators, or most of them, are former PE teachers and coaches isn't
really the case if you look closely. Now a lot of our new administrators maybe
go into administration not too long into their educational careers which might
present unique problems, but again I wouldn't say that administration is a
haven for former PE teachers either. Look a bit more carefully satch...
Why we continue to give any space in an article for groups like "parents for
choice" is beyond me. There agenda is pretty transparent and it isn't
to improve public education. A voucher system is their goal and they will
continue to push for it at all costs. Please let them have their say but
don't include their rhetoric in what was otherwise a great article.Having said that, Sen. Osmond got it. He came in with the same attitude
we have seen over and over and over again from our legislature. Each new
legislator would come in thinking he knew how to "fix" public education.
The problem was they never took the time to listen to the right people. Other
legislators and the eagle forum are not the right people. Organizations like
"parents for choice" are not the right people. TEACHERS, parents, and
students are the right people. I'm sure Sen. Osmond ticked off
a lot of the good old boys of the legislature and they will be angry with the
positive attention he is getting for his work.Teachers and parents
want the same thing. It is time we give it to them.
It won't work at all because when you put teachers in charge of grading
teachers it like a teacher turning over their class to a student to grade
students test, the conflicts and arguments will never end about, discrimination,
racism, bias, and violation of employment laws (EEO). This law is not at all
equal to all teachers where salaries and local community needs are so varied and
different. Education serves the needs of a community and students,
not state political pandering crooks. Funding political ineptitude is a waste of
education funds. A true education 'reform' would have
equalized per-pupil spending and teacher salaries state wide. More than 80% of
education funds of 30k/pupil funds go to SLC, Granite, and Jordan school
district, and making local developer friends rich, the other 20% of funds is
split to the other students and teachers in the state. Utah has a dysfuncitonal
biased discrimination system throughout the schools and teacher and salaries. My
numbers may be off slightly, but you get the idea.Utah does not have
an eduction system of equality so any attempt to equalize and judge teachers
from school to school is totally biased and discriminatory.
While I am a teacher who has always been in favor of more teacher
accountability, the issue I still have is most first and second year teachers
are simply not the best at their jobs. For the first two and perhaps three
years, most teachers, myself included when I first started teaching, find
themselves in 'survivor mode.' They are just trying to make it until
the end of the day. Some improvements can be made in 120 days, but other
aspects of the job come from wisdom gained through experience.I am
happy to see this bill removes to some degree the impact of student achievement.
There are some things in the teacher's control, but others which simply
cannot be measured. One thing I think would be of use is Utah implementing
teacher testing similar to the Praxis tests used for teacher certification
throughout the evaluation process, so attitudes and teaching philosophy can be
considered. That way, if there is a problem, efforts to help the teacher can be
more focused. It might also be good for teacher education classes to be more
demanding. Most teachers know most of their education courses in college were
entirely too easy.
I for one, am glad to see this. I was a state Corrections employee, and held to
a minimum standard annually. I had to attend annual training in all skill areas
required and failing to meet them, was cause for immediate termination. Why
shouldn't Teachers be held to a standard? They complain about wages, but
they made a far sight more than I did. I think a standard is fair. At least we
know they are performing to at least, the minimum required.
This is a good step for Utah teachers, but the political environment surrounding
Utah education makes me thankful I am not teaching in Utah anymore. Hopefully
people in Utah will see that they have a good education system and the special
interest groups trying to manipulate Utah policiticans have no place in Utah
education. For any teachers who want to be treaed better they can always find a
neighboring state or two that respect their educators and provide better pay, I
The problem is that the teachers are not the ones teaching most of the time.
Through Elementary school, they rely on parents to teach the kids. We send our
kids to school for 7 hours, then we have to spend 2 hours to re-teach them what
they were supposed to learn during the day. My kids test in the top 10%, so it
isn't an issue of them not being capable of understanding.If
teachers want to regain their credibility in the eyes of the public, they need
to become competent. The outrage has come about because most teachers
don't teach very well, and don't care that their curriculum is bad.
When will the UEA and NEA start fighting all of the mandated testing? Testing
does not promote education, it detracts from it.
Judging from the performance of state and local governments over the last few
years, any thing that comes out of the state or local government will not do
anything positive for public education. As the commercial business
control over state and local governments has increased, the desirability for
public education has decreased. Having a well educated public is not what the
business community wants. I long for a time when education is
available to all as a free market commodity. Where parents and students might
select the subjects, teachers and biases from an internet where teachers would
profit from their customer/students evaluation by the demand. Until
that time I would like to see the establishment of federal government schools to
operate in competition with the state and local government and private schools.
The advantage being the overall curriculum for all Americans and not the
specialized indoctrination of schools under the thumb of the local commercial
entities. I think the advent of such a choice in education would be
good for America.
Orem Parent:Why should we not give space to report the opinion of Parents
for Choice, but listen to the teacher's union?
"State Superintendent Larry Shumway .... He said it will be clear if
administrators are not adequately evaluating their staff if overwhelming numbers
of teachers receive the highest, or lowest, rankings. "By and
large we have excellent teachers."From my experience with many
personnel evaluations over the years, the fact that many have excellent ratings
is not a reliable criteria. Indeed you may have an excellent staff. To assume
that you have to find someone "low" and on the contrary maybe everyone
is "low".A teacher in SLC and an identical teacher in Heber
City that teach exactly the same may be scored equally high, but if they traded
places both might be scored low! Statewide scoring may have problems.I had a teacher in HS that students didn't like, some parents
"complained" but he has had the most influence on me throughout my
career. He would have received low ranking on a statewide scale, but after years
his students "admit" he was a great teacher.
Why is anyone listening to Judi Clark and Parents for Choice? Their goal is to
institute vouchers and privatize our public schools. When Judi Clark calls this
legislation “dangerous” which holds administrators and teachers to
high standards, shortens the time for remediation/ termination, and ties
administrator/teacher standards to performance and evaluation, that should be a
clear signal that her agenda does not include student centered reform or
excellence. Senator Osmond, the State Office of Education and the UEA are
to be congratulated. As a parent and citizen of Utah, this is the type of
collaboration we should demand from our elected officials. Enough of PCE and the
anti-public education rhetoric.
Leesha we should listen to the UEA members because they are the teachers and
education experts, they are your neighbors, your child's teacher, and
I'm glad that Osmond is taking his job seriously. I wish more government
officials would at least try to solve some problems.
What about the student's? Do we not think that the students who achieve
recognized high performance skills can not effectively have a voice? I'm
an old fart who was educated in the Granite School District when it was
recognized as top notch in the nation. Somehow we've managed to over think
the current state of the system, instead of putting our ears to the ground. The
students. That's ground level. If we are so simplistic as to place a
quantification of teacher effectiveness on student test scores, we're
risking a lot. Peer review? Problematic... envy factor. Socio-political
influences aside, and with an understanding how they can manifest themselves
within any group... what about the students?
Squirt:okay, but they shouldn't be the the only voice heard. I am not
affiliated with Parents for choice, but the reason that they are around, is
because the UEA ,education experts and many teachers aren't putting the
kids first and being effective in education.
Leesha,You are right that they should not be the only voice heard. What
you don’t know is the UEA has helped develop the evaluation framework with
the State Office which include parent and student input in teacher and
administrator evaluations. I am a teacher and a member of UEA along with
100% of the faculty at my school. We are dedicated to our students. When
comments generalizing UEA members as not being student centered are stated, it
is blatantly false and disrespectful to the majority of educators who are UEA
members. Yes, there are those who should not be teaching which is why UEA helped
craft this bill. I am a parent and I want excellent teachers for my children. I
hope you will reconsider blanket statements painting all dedicated UEA teachers
in such a negative way. Thank you.
Squirt: "When comments generalizing UEA members as not being student
centered are stated, it is blatantly false and disrespectful to the majority of
educators who are UEA members."I don't think this is a false
generalization. UEA's job is to protect teacher's jobs, whether they
are doing a good job or not. I saw them in action at the a middle school
helping out more than one unfit teacher. Never heard of a school where
100% or even 75&% of teachers were union members.
Students giving evaluations. Should kids evaluate their parents? I'd like
to see teachers evaluate parents. Better yet, lets let teachers evaluate the
legislature as to its support of education. Class size is pathetic.
Preparation time is non-existent. The pay is poor. Benefits are at a failing
level. If you think being control freaks, threatening teachers, and keeping
teachers under the thumb is productive and motivating then your way behind the
times. Collaboration, innovation, appreciation and support is why Apple and
Google and all other Companies produce great products. Bobby Knight won a few
games but at whose expense? If Mr. Osmond really wants to make a difference,
he'd look at class size, raise the pay, give educators preparation and
collaboration time, throw out the wasteful mandates and focus on a Renasissance
education...ARTS & letters. Really !! We don't need bored robots
playing to the drum of Utah's paranoia groupies. The UEA has also lost it
clout anyway. Until all schools have equal benefits and equal pay, the UEA will
never regain the confidence of educators.
Leesha there are plenty of schools with 100% or 75% UEA membership. UEA helped
craft this bill. You are misinformed at best.
Squirt: I don't believe it. And yes, they did help craft this bill, after
it was written and in an effort to water it down.
Evaluation is good, fair evaluation is difficult at best. I think the problem
with education is we offer too many subjects and become masters of none. One
major problem is parents who don't have the courage to require their
children to learn. It has to be a cooperative effort between teacher, parent
and student. An involved parent will make a good teacher successful. Even a so
called bad teacher will experience greater success and become a better teacher.
I like the idea of putting more responsibility on the administrator. Hopefully
one visit to a classroom doesn't determine whether a teacher is good or bad
as has been the case in the past.