I’ve written a lot about the usefulness of students evaluating teachers and how school reformers want to destroy that very usefulness. You can see those posts at The Best Posts On Students Evaluating Classes (And Teachers).
Larry Cuban weighs in on the topic today. Here’s how he ends his post:
Controversial or not in higher education, reform-driven policymakers and foundation officials, eager to find another metric beyond unstable end-of-year test scores that simply and inexpensively judges K-12 teacher performance, look to researchers to quantify student perceptions of how and what their teachers teach. Students do know a great deal about their teachers and professors; they sit in classrooms hundreds and thousands of hours each school year. Such information can be useful to help teachers and schools improve.
Not, however, if student perceptions of teaching are sliced and diced to fit into little boxes that can be checked off by principals and superintendents to determine teacher effectiveness and pay. Were that to occur, its usefulness will approach the likelihood of most people drinking rat poison.