Should technology standards be part of a teachers evaluation process?

The more I think about this question the more I think about how divisive it really is.  This question really has many answers to it and the answers will depend a lot upon one’s perspective towards the entire educational system. Unlike many other industries, education has so many different stake holders. Parents, students, teachers, administrators, government civil servants, teachers unions, etc all claim an interest in a child’s education and all claim to have their best interests at heart. They all will put forward answers that they claim will fix an ailing system, but have any of these groups come up with an answer that is broad and fair enough to satisfy everybody.

Like most teachers, I want to do the best I can when I am teaching my students. I am currently involved in Coetail because I want to move forward and feel that I need to keep pace with change in education.  However, what happens if I don’t have the knowledge to teach the students what they need to move forward in the 21st century?  How much of this is my is my responsibility to move forward?  How much of this is my employers or school boards responsibility to provide me with the tools to move ahead?  Is it then fair to evaluate me for something that is not completely my responsibility?

On the other hand, it can be argued that all teachers need to be continually moving forward and need to be held accountable for doing that.  Florida Governor Rick Scott has made it part of his government platform to legislate teachers to move forward.  The Miami Herald states Technology, Florida Gov. Rick Scott says, is an essential component to teaching the state’s next generation of leaders.  So the use of technology should be prioritized in the state education system. As part of the major education reforms he promoted during his campaign for governor, Scott said technology must be used in the classroom and must become part of the evaluation of educators.

In some ways education is a little bit like a big corporation.  If for example Toyota does not change and modernize; it suffers the consequence of less people buying its products.  It also runs the risk of going out of business if it does not continue to grow.  So what is the consequence to education and more specifically to teachers if they do not move forward?

Education is a very complex industry.  With so many interest groups involved I don’t know if we will ever come to a consensus over all the issues facing education today.  Whether or not teacher evaluation based on tech standards will be solved any time soon is anybodies guess.  The one thing I do know is technology is changing education and nobody will be able to stop it.  Instead we all need to work together on how to keep abreast of it.


2 responses to “Should technology standards be part of a teachers evaluation process?

  1. Great post Carl…and all so true. It really is about working together to meet the educational needs of our students today. The point you’ve made about “technology changing education” is powerful, and no, it can’t be stopped. I know that you are doing your part as an educator to bring to students what they need in this day and age to be successful. That’s my goal as well. It’s unfortunate that sometimes and in some places, inequities and barriers exist that impede and, even prevent, this goal from being attained. I wish that all schools everywhere had the resources necessary to empower their teachers to “continually move forward”. Your post, like several others I have read recently, make me appreciate even more the resources that I have at my disposal….and even with that, “keeping abreast of it” is no easy task.

  2. Interesting! Is it a doctor’s job to learn all the new techniques about how to more effectively perform a surgery or the hospital’s job to teach him? I do think the two work together, but not on the professional growth area. I would say it’s the teacher’s (doctor’s) job to stay up to date, but it’s the school’s (hospital’s) job to ensure that the environment the teacher works in can support current practice. Both have to work hand in hand, but if the teacher is waiting for the school to show them everything, they will be waiting a long time, I think. There has to be some intrinsic and professional motivation on behalf of the teacher – as you describe for yourself in taking COETAIL 🙂

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