Should students evaluate teachers?
The Pinellas school board talked for more than an hour yesterday about the new teacher evaluation systems, with several members criticizing what they see as major flaws in the state's mandate. But in an interesting aside, board member Linda Lerner referred to yesterday's Gradebook post about a new College Board report that suggested what students want from teachers and asked: "What about students rating teachers?"
Lerner continued: "I’m not one who believes, oh, they don’t like the teacher, they’re just going to give a bad (rating). Is anyone doing that? I brought this up many, many years ago. I know that it’s not part of the evaluation we have to do for the state requirements. But as a district, we have to start doing things, I think, for Pinellas. I think it would be great to look at student evaluation, certainly in middle and high school, maybe even elementary. And are there any best practices related to it. I would just like to explore it. If we say it’s about students, where’s the student here? It’s missing. So maybe we can talk about it at a workshop.”
Board member Robin Wikle added: “Mrs. Lerner, last year my son was filling out a survey on line. I go, 'What are you doing?' 'I’m telling my teacher how good he did.' Now he was an exceptional teacher. An AP math teacher. And he made all his kids evaluate him. I think it’s going on internally. But it could be a tool that we use."
Interim superintendent John Stewart asked deputy superintendent Jim Madden to look into it.