Bob Plain is the editor/publisher of Rhode Island's Future. Previously, he's worked as a reporter for several different news organizations both in Rhode Island and across the country.

3 responses to “Arlene Violet misses the issue on teacher evaluations”

  1. leftyrite

    Arlene Violet is a known quantity.
    As we said in the ’60’s, she likes to sound on people.
    “Sound on you.” Remember that?  (It means that
    Bob, what you’re doing is much more sophisticated in terms of framing.
    You’re basically positing the notion that, if we find the right metric (in today’s jargon, the right algorithm,) we’ll be on the right road. How long have you taught?
    Do you seriously think that Arlene Violet ranks with the top ten percent of Rhode Island’s public school teachers in terms of getting across, of actually communicating?
       …writing them off?  …in effect, leaving them behind?
    Maybe, it’s not about metrics primarily.

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  2. PinkHatLib

    “This is why holding someone accountable is only as good as the metric being used.”
    No, Bob. If the goal is process improvement, metrics and individual “accoutability” are impediments to that goal. Arguing about good or bad metrics is simply a waste of time.
    See “Total Quality or Performance Appraisal: Choose One.”
    ** quote **
    Many teachers of total quality, following the lead of W. Edwards Deming, suggest that TQM and performance appraisal are incompatible. Indeed, Deming lists “evaluation of performance, merit rating and annual review” as the third of his “Seven Deadly Diseases.” Why can’t TQM and performance appraisal co-exist? At the center of the case against performance appraisal are the fundamental values and principles of TQM. TQM requires customer-consciousness, systems-thinking, an understanding of variation, an appreciation of teamwork, a mastery of improvement methods, and an understanding of the process of personal motivation and learning. These very requirements of TQM are subverted by performance appraisal. TQM requires us to understand, control, and improve processes for the benefit of the customer. Performance appraisal aims at controlling an individual’s behavior to the satisfaction of his or her manager. The two approaches represent a fundamental choice for leaders: one or the other; not both.
    ** end quote ** 

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  3. Barry

    First, I think Ms Violet is an excellent communicator and I regret she was dismissed from talk radio, probably because she didn’t reliably folow the right-wing party line.  Arlene is one of the few that calls out anyone she thinks has done wrong, whether on the left or the right, and she is usually on-target.
    Having been a college teacher (including being dept chair) I understand that folks don’t really like being evaluated, and educators are really good a coming up with reasons why any evaluation system is no good.  For years I tries to warn union and afculty leaders and others that blocking real evaluations was wrong, not only in pronciple, but also because it discourages those who go the extra mile and get no reward, and it opens up an opportunity for those hostile to teachers to get public opinion on their side and/or impose their own evaluation system with leitle teacher input.  This is indeed what is increasingly happening. 

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