We Evaluate Doctors. Why Not Chicago Teachers?

Smart evaluations of teachers work
Thousands of Chicago public school teachers and their supporters march through the Loop after the union failed to reach an agreement with the city on compensation, benefits and job security. Photograph by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Can teacher evaluations be done horribly wrong? Of course. Evaluating teachers solely on the basis of their students’ scores on standardized tests can accidentally penalize good teachers while rewarding bad ones. It also gives teachers a strong incentive to teach to the test, which encourages what New York educator Kate McKeown calls RAMIT: “regurgitate, acculturate, memorize, isolate, and threaten.”

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