Evaluating teachers critical to students’ future

The Educator Evaluation System is not a mystery (Viewpoint, April 26). The calculations are based on concepts used by the Los Angeles Times for its study of teacher performance.

The study found that there were statistically significant differences between student performances due to the teacher, and that, in general, the different results for each teacher were repeated year to year.

The process doesn’t compare a student to other students, it compares each student to their own previous standardized scores. The program uses the year-to-year scores to measure the teacher’s impact on that student.

If Johnny had a 50 percentile score in 2nd grade and 55 percentile score in 3 grade, then the 3rd-grade teacher did something better. By averaging all the students in the class each year, one can see which teachers are doing a better job.

If that evaluation process turns into more pay for the better teachers, then the 4th and 5th grades will attract the teachers who do the best job. The teacher is important to the success of the student, we simply have to use teacher performance to improve education.

Teachers should be demanding that this system be used and eliminate their current canned salary schedule. Seniority-driven from hiring to retirement, one rarely deviates from the schedule.

Good or bad, successful or not, the salary is predetermined. How many professionals have that kind of compensation schedule? How many would stand for it?

It needs to change. Our kids’ future depends on it.

Greg Stratton