Twenty years of retirement from Clare Public Schools have not diminished my interest in quality education locally, statewide or nationally. Thirty five years of teaching in five different schools left indelible memories. The most memorable are of colleagues, some still teaching, and especially my students.
Just the other day in a conversation with a former colleague I discovered that 12% of Clare “teacher evaluations” are based on community service as defined by the Clare school administration and its board of education. I wonder at the administrator mathematician skills utilized to arrive at that percentage. I’m shocked and angered.
Since when should a teacher be employed for any other reason than exemplary teaching skills? Since when should a teacher be evaluated on anything other than the ability to deliver first rate academic or artistic information and material in a classroom atmosphere conducive to learning? Since when has it become the province of school administrators and boards of education to require community service as a requisite to superior evaluations?
Is assessing community service finally a criteria administrators inept at evaluating real teaching excellence utilize to justify a reason for existence? Any person without vision problems can see a teacher “performing a community service” . It takes an experienced educator in the subject matter being evaluated to assess quality teaching.
I will eternally believe that all administrators should have been unconditionally superior teachers. Those that were not need something like “community service” to use as a club to evaluate their staffs.
Teaching excellence should be the only important quality to any sensible teacher evaluation tool. If not they should not be called teachers but, like too many administrators, public relations experts hired to placate citizens into believing they are accomplishing “school improvements”.
Today’s students are the victims of such nonsense.