Teacher Report Cards

Should Students be Allowed to Grade Their Teachers



Junior Sammie Mariniello and Sophomore Olivia Rowe view ratemyprofessor.com

Should students be allowed to grade their teachers in some way, shape or form?

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Students are graded on almost everything they do in school. Many students, including myself, feel that we should be able to grade our teachers back. Sometimes teachers do not even realize that something they’re doing may negatively affect their students, so having a way for students to express their concerns to their teachers would allow the teachers to realize these things.

 Walking through the halls of my school I often hear students complaining about too much homework or incompetent teachers. These students often do not feel that they can express their concerns to their teachers because they do not feel comfortable doing so. In the article “Should Students Evaluate Their Teachers” by Thuận Sarzynski, the author writes, “On one hand, the students may become more motivated and then may engage and listen more carefully during the class. On the other hand, they can develop criticism which is today a vital skill in a world overwhelmed by information.” It is true that students, including myself, will often lose interest in what they are learning if their teachers are not doing an effective job of teaching the material they are learning. If teachers were made aware of these issues then they would have a much easier time figuring out ways to fix them. This would also strengthen the relationships that students have with their teachers and in the long run, also benefit the teachers.

In college, professors are also evaluated by their students. Typically students fill out a form and put it in an envelope, which is sealed and sent to the dean of the university. I think that this method could also be effectively used in high schools. Some may argue that certain students may not be mature enough to give accurate evaluations of their teachers and may not take it seriously. However, the administration often has an idea of the students who may do this, and not every student in the class will be this way and the administration will be able to judge that.

There are also websites like ratemyprofessor.com and a company called Panorama which has begun allowing students to rate their teachers in a controlled way. As reported by Farhad Manjoo of the New York Times, in the article “Grading Teachers, With Data From Class” it states,The company, which is run by two 23-year-old Yale grads with a penchant for computers and data crunching, has run surveys in more than 5,000 schools, and it has been adopted by some of the largest school systems in the nation, including the Los Angeles Unified School District and schools in Connecticut.” Programs like this designed to use specific information from class will allow for the administration to see exactly how their teachers are performing while also performing their own evaluations.
Some may say that the administration’s assessment of their teachers, as well as the standardized test scores, are enough to accurately decide whether teachers are performing well. However, the administration can not always see everything the teachers are doing and they are not attempting to learn the material like the students are, meaning they may not see that something the teacher is doing may negatively affect the student.

For these reasons, I believe that students should be allowed to assess their teachers and report their opinions to the administration. This should not be the only way that teachers are assessed, however. Instead, all three methods of student grading, standardized tests, and administration observations should be used to create an accurate assessment of a teacher’s performance.