Teacher Evaluations

Our nation is in the midst of spending enormous amounts of taxpayer dollars developing complex evaluation systems for teachers that most educators would say are entirely unnecessary. A well-trained principal who is on her toes knows without the help of mathematically adjusted formulas who on her staff is performing effectively and who is not.  The problem does not lie in determining who is a good teacher – the real problem is making sure principals only hire the best teachers in the first place and then work very hard to be sure they do not extend continuing contracts to teachers who have not yet shown themselves to be worthy of them.

At a time when our schools are suffering terrible cuts I do not think we should be wasting money developing new plans for teacher evaluation and then arguing on and on the finer points of the plans. Let’s use the money instead to train principals better so that they keep a closer eye on what goes on in the classrooms in their schools. Let’s also work on developing a collegial atmosphere in our schools so that teachers help one another to improve. These are the best things we could do to help improve our education system quickly.



Kathreen Harrison

About Kathreen Harrison

Kathreen Harrison is a public school teacher in Maine. She has a master’s degree from Bank Street College of Education and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College. She has worked in a variety of schools in New York and Maine in a number of capacities – French teacher, gifted and talented teacher, elementary school teacher, and curriculum coordinator for island schools. She has lived in Maine for 20 years and has a particular interest in school reform.