Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Teachers as Professional Baseball Players

It always amazes me to hear about "Teacher Performance Ratings" especially when you consider the criteria used, the questions asked, qualifications and or the agendas of the evaluators.

I like to use professional baseball statistics as a basis for comparisons. Baseball statistics are usually very simple to understand.

The batter goes to the plate and is presented with a number of pitches or opportunities. We can use pitches and students as the base unit.

There is the "wild pitch" that is dangerous to the batter, catcher, umpire, spectators and without proper safety equipment or reflexes can lead to serious injury or even death. We have all read the headlines when the students murder teachers and students.

The lead hitters are placed early in the batting order to take advantage of their established performance rankings. Many of them are baseball's best and yet they fail over 70% of the time they are at bat.

We know that statistics from medical sources, psychology sources, IQ testing and academic potential testing sources show that only 40 to 60% of the population can actually graduate from high school. These can be compared to baseballs "balls" and we know them as the generally "un-hitable" pitches that come our way.

Many unrealistic politicians, new age consultants and self-deluded idealists say that teachers have to bat 100% with all of their students.

Can you imagine any politician trying to make a rule that pro baseball players have to hit 100% of the pitches or successfully hit 100% of the time that they are up at bat. These politicians would be laughed out of the stadium, laughed out of office, made fun of by Stone, Jay, David and Conan.

To properly evaluate teachers we have to use a real criteria that evaluates what the teacher starts with, what the potential of the student is, what learning actually took place.

It would be nice to see teachers properly credited with helping students over achieve and perform at 110% of their potential or even turn students from being chronic underachievers at 20% up to 80% of their potential as students.

Teachers need a new Commissioner, a new league and trained umpires to protect the integrity of their game.

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