Think About It: Teacher’s Aid - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

July 8, 2013

Think About It: Teacher’s Aid

Let the evaluations begin. A month from now, the State Department of Education will premiere its new public school teacher evaluation system. The system will be undoubtedly be flawed, questioned, adjusted, improved, and hopefully become a standard by which teachers can be fairly judged, based on their performance and the performance of their students.

Vital to this new system will be the feedback and ideas to help teachers improve, if that is necessary. The stated goal is to "improve teaching", according to DOE Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. Test scores will help to determine how teachers are doing, but that will only be one criterion. Classroom observation and student surveys will also be used. The survey part will be quite subjective and need to be reviewed often, as good teachers can also be tough teachers when need be, and that might not go over so well with pre-teens.

Unfortunately, this new rating system will not necessarily improve parenting nor provide more funds for school supplies. An unmotivated, disinterested, and underfed child is a tough one to stimulate. A classroom without air, books, or adequate lighting provides unnecessary roadblocks to learning. Hopefully, parents will get more involved than ever to help ensure that their schools, teachers, and kids have the best opportunities to succeed. Hopefully, funding to repair infrastructure and provide supplies will meet the needs. Pushing the expectations of teachers is a move whose time has come; let's hope there is help on the home front and from the State, too. Think about it…

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