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KBSI Perspective
Most of you who watch this segment know that I spent quite a few years teaching high school. At that time, teacher accountability of test scores and student performance was discussed but not in place. I have never been a proponent of that system and probably never will. Patrick Webb, a teacher and contributor to USA Today had an op-ed on this subject and he made his case as to why this system just will not work. Webb was complimented last year because his students do so well on the standardized tests. What he did to improve scores was to, in his words, “prostituted myself to get higher scores” from students in English literature. In 30 years of teaching, Webb never pushed weak students out of his classes even though early on he knew some would not do well. Last year he did and his capable students performed very well. The test scores are not in this year but Webb went back to, “the old philosophy of keeping every student who started in September in the class all year, even though I knew many of them would never pass the test.” Webb knows that when the results come in they will be lower. Webb is adamant that, “Ranking teachers on the basis of their student test scores is just part of a nationwide, politically driven movement to scapegoat teachers for the so-called achievement gap between the scores of whites and Asians and those of blacks and Latinos.” He believes that the assumption of this movement is that “students are receptive vessels eager to be filled with knowledge if teachers just straightened up.” The effects of family background, poverty, ethnic culture and other politically charged factors are ignored in favor of the myth that teachers can make up for any deficiency. Patrick Webb knows his stuff and the sooner we get rid of pay for performance with teachers the better the system will work. What do you think?Teacher Accountability


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