The Hunterdon County Democrat Editorial Board weighs in on teacher discomfort with NJ’s new teacher evaluation legislation because of discomfort with the fairness of both evaluators and accountability metrics.
Welcome to the real world.
Employees, and managers, have long struggled with evaluations. Those that simply reward quantitative measures — number of widgets bolted per minute, hours billed per week, dollars rung up per month — don’t take into account the quality of the end product…
In the United States, it is estimated that 7% of the workforce is unionized. The weakening of unions has had its downfalls, but where performance evaluation is concerned, it has given well-respected companies flexibility to treat employees as the individuals that they are.
Good employees, regardless of the current economic environment, really are worth keeping. They uphold quality standards, while keeping “production” rolling. They engender good will for a company with its customers and shareholders.
But when it comes down to it, some people are just in the wrong department, or company, or career. Being shown the door can lead to new one that’s a better fit.
It’s the same way with teachers, but for many years a union’s strength trumped common sense labor practices. More than a few school administrators grumbled about their inability to fire, or retrain, teachers who weren’t making the grade.
Sometimes parents, even well-respected teachers, do the same over a cup of coffee. The state is now taking steps to address a system that, for far too long, has given preference to job tenure over a school’s or family’s needs.