Thursday, April 23, 2015

Rating and Raking Accomplishes "Nothing"

Like most states Michigan educators, parents and lawmakers cannot come to grips or even a small amount of agreement as to where we should be headed with our education system as it relate to common core standards, testing and evaluation.

Hardly a week will go by without a story like this:

No one is looking at it from a systemic or systems thinking perspective in trying to determine where the process starts and ends and what it should look like when it is done. All of the sub-pieces have their own interest (i.e., Teachers don't want to be rated ranked), nor do School superintendents want their districts rated and ranked with what they believe to be faulty testing and data.

Lawmakers have no idea of what really goes on in an educational system yet they pretend to do what is right and change their views as often as the weather.

All I know is Rating and Ranking accomplishes nothing but creating fear and despair. Our purpose should be to help people learn and improve. Evaluations of this type are beneficial. The problem is too many people in leadership or decision making roles want to use evaluations for rating and ranking to get rid of people (Justified/non-justified). So what if there is a bad employee or if he/she not doing their job? How do you get rid of them? I say - you should have not hired or placed them in that position in the first place. Leadership did not do their job upfront in the hiring process. Too often Rating and Ranking are used as a tool for poor leadership decisions. If some people have to be let go through a good evaluation then at least try and place them in a position where they will be successful. If they are a "bad" employee then fire them based on a sound evaluation from fact-based data and not a cowardly way by using ranking and rating.

Rankings and Ratings are for sports entertainment and other games. They should not be used for something as important as the education of our children and the future of our society.