Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Those Evaluating Teachers Should Teach in Their Field

March 18, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Thomas Toch’s plan to strengthen evaluation of teachers is an improvement over the methods currently in use in most schools, but it overlooks one crucial element (“Test Results and Drive-By Evaluations,” Commentary, March 5, 2008). It is vital that those doing the actual class observations be certified in the same field as the teacher being scrutinized.

Even under Mr. Toch’s proposal, it would be altogether possible to have repeated visits by multiple evaluators who knew little or nothing about the subject taught. In foreign languages, for example, would these same observers know the difference between, say, ser and estar, the very different “to be” verbs in Spanish?

The point is that for too long in K-12 we’ve assumed that expertise in subject matter is secondary to pedagogy. That would never occur in higher education, where peer review is the accepted method of assessment. If we expect to improve educational outcomes, we need to reconsider our current strategies.

Walt Gardner

Los Angeles, Calif.

A version of this article appeared in the March 19, 2008 edition of Education Week as Those Evaluating Teachers Should Teach in Their Field

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Your Questions on the Science of Reading, Answered
Dive into the Science of Reading with K-12 leaders. Discover strategies, policy insights, and more in our webinar.
Content provided by Otus
Mathematics Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Breaking the Cycle: How Districts are Turning around Dismal Math Scores
Math myth: Students just aren't good at it? Join us & learn how districts are boosting math scores.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: March 20, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 13, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: February 21, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: February 7, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read