I am retired after 44 years in the classroom. Like most of my professional colleagues, I am strongly committed to appropriate and fair evaluations of classroom teachers tied to promotion, tenure and salary. As a longtime union leader, I assisted with many such evaluation projects over the years at the University of Hawaii ensuring that the instruments used were fair and, more importantly, took into full account what actually happens in the classroom.
Currently, teachers have more than ample reason to be extremely wary of classroom evaluations tied to performance as offered by political hacks with little, if any, knowledge of real classroom demographics and/or the daunting instructional challenges facing teachers today in the chaotic American public school system.
However, give teachers the necessary tools, the budgets and the educational resources required for their jobs and little, if any, resistance would be offered to such evaluations.
Unfortunately, that is not the case. It seems that simple-minded, quick-fix solutions are offered by those who seem more interested in demeaning today's teachers rather than seeking real solutions to systemic problems plaguing our schools.
Teachers have become easy targets these days and they have every right to fight the demagoguery they face. My advice to the harsh, often shrill voices of so many critics is that they spend a few days in any public school to get an honest perspective of what is actually happening. Dream on.