“Value-Added” adds more value to schools
I don’t know about your high school experience, but mine was definitely one to remember, for good and bad reasons. After the 30 minute drive there every morning at 7am, my day of learning had officially begun. My schedule during senior year sounded difficult to the average person and before the first couple weeks of school I was actually pretty nervous about it. But after meeting my teachers and experiencing their teaching methods, I learned that my senior year was going to be a breeze. It’s not like they were bad teachers, they were just easy and seemed to be not very passionate about teaching. This made me not very passionate about learning. Teachers in the United States should start being held more accountable for how they are teaching and the success of their students. Students shouldn’t be able walk through high school just studying for the tests and not retaining any real knowledge, because thats what I did and I didn’t know that I was just hurting myself in the end. Thats when I realized that my study habits wouldn’t get me through college and I didn’t understand why I wasn’t fully prepared. All students in the United States should feel fully prepared for college, if they decide to go, and I feel like teachers should be a huge part of making a student feel prepared.
I had many different types of teachers throughout high school and my favorite were the teachers who were nice and gave us a light lode of school work. I think they were just lazy and tried to convince themselves that they were being nice and reasonable but also strict and authoritative. In reality they were just easy and everyone made it seem like they tried really hard, but really all of the material was just extremely easy. Lazy teachers can be found everywhere which is a big problem. We don’t need teachers who probably picked teaching as a backup career or teachers who are just resentful of their job. Their attitudes about teaching should be full of ambition and initiative because students grades are reflected on the effort they put forward.
The most effective way to evaluate teachers and how effective their teaching methods are is the “Value-Added Assessment”. The Value-Added Assessment is a way of evaluating teachers by testing their students from year to year to see the individuals progress. If the student isn’t showing progress on their standardized tests then the teacher is not doing their job well. Value added has been around since the 70’s and has gradually become more popular, and more controversial. If all the kinks were smoothed out of this method, I know that the Value-Added Assessment could really change and improve all of our schools in the United States.
Some people may ask “aren’t the standardized tests which Value-Added is based on flawed?” No standardized test is perfect and most tests reflect socioeconomic backgrounds more than what’s learned in the classroom. But since value-added compares students to themselves in previous years, rather than to students with different backgrounds, the scores of the students aren’t flawed and neither are the evaluations of the teachers. With this approach the government will be able to see which districts need more assistance and they can send better qualified teachers, or teachers with better scores on their evaluations to the schools that need more help. It’s like sending excellent managers to a fast food store that need help with management or more organization. I used to work at a fast food restaurant and a new manager was sent to us from a neighboring store and completely changed our store for the better. If this method was applied to our schools then I think the same thing would happen.
Teacher evaluations are good in many ways, not only for the schools but for the parents of the students that go to the schools. At some schools, to make the kids feel good about themselves, or keep parents happy, kids are passed on no matter whether they deserve to be. I know that this happened in my school a lot and it only hurt me in the end. I had good relationships with all of my teachers and I believe that helped my grade at the end of the year. Evaluating teachers will hopefully eliminate this from happening in our schools. It’s good to have good relationships with your teachers but a students relationship with a teacher should not have any effect on the student’s final grade.
In my opinion, teachers are the most important school-related factor in a students education and until now the parents had little information about how effective their teachers are being. Teacher accountability is important because parents have a right to know whether their children’s teachers are effectively teaching them. If I saw that my school’s teachers evaluations were low or dropping, I would send my child to a school or district where the teacher’s evaluations were higher. I know that my child probably wouldn’t want to leave their school but having a good education is one of the most important things in the world.
I know that if my high school was a part of the Value-Added Assessment then both my parents and I would be happier with my experience. My teachers would be evaluated and would be more aware of their effectiveness which would benefit my learning. If teachers recieved low ratings they would be able to asses their methods and hopefully make them better. My parents would also be able to see my growth and get me any extra help if i needed it. Overall, teachers need to start being evaluated using the Value-Added Assessment because it would not only help their career but it will help the students education as well.