Tom Dooher: Yes, evaluate teachers. B...

Tom Dooher: Yes, evaluate teachers. But let's be smart about it.

There are 54 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Mar 26, 2011, titled Tom Dooher: Yes, evaluate teachers. But let's be smart about it.. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

It may surprise many Minnesotans to learn that some teachers go years without an evaluation.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at TwinCities.com.

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cawalstrom

Minneapolis, MN

#1 Mar 27, 2011
Mr. Dooher assertions regarding classroom size is an interesting point. In fact so much so that it sent me to the memory box to pull out old elementary school photos and surprisingly our class sizes were consistently in the high twenties and early thirties. I can vividly recall our teachers able to effectively teach and the vast majority of kids able to learn and achieve. Were the teachers just that much better in the 1960"s in Minneapolis public schools? Or was it because there happened to be consequences for misbehavior that is no longer present in the social science experiment that we now call public education? Many of the schools I attended were inhabited by welfare recipients like myself and yet we understood and accepted that learning was not a choice, it was the expectation. All of us free lunch kids were never made to feel like a victim or poor little waifs labeled for the rest of our lives no matter how many kids were in the classroom. Education Minnesota engages in some shall we say, disingenuous arguments to promote their own agenda.
Bob the Bilderberger

Minneapolis, MN

#2 Mar 27, 2011
It's the role of the union president to negotiate the greatest amount of pay and benefits in return for the least amount of work.

And that's why public employees, especially teachers, should not be allowed to unionize.
East Sider

Saint Paul, MN

#3 Mar 27, 2011
Tom Dooher sounds like he is well intentioned and we need to believe he wants the best for the kids taught in public schools. Either that or we have lost hope and he is a spokesman for a just plain evil union. Let’s not go there for now.
If you asked him off the record, he may well admit that money doesn't drive good results. Parents do. He may well be a family man and understands this too well.
Teachers can only facilitate what they are given and the unions say they need more to do the job. Taxpayers (AKA parents) attempt to make more to give more by taking extra jobs and shouldering more of a burden to support the goals of Tom's union which I hope are still the goals of the parents but may not be.
Now that the parents are both required to hold jobs (rare 40 years ago – predominant today) to feed the tax beast and are home much less, their kids will need more care by Tom's union so they WILL ask for more money and full day kindergarten and head start at 3 and in effect what they are creating is pseudo-parenting appointed by the government.
Parents (AKA taxpayers) are saying enough. Enough. ENOUGH!
I can hear you out, Tom. I can believe you are well intentioned if not touched by naiveté, selfishness, or greed. But some have begun to speak out and it is beginning to ring louder and clearer that we cannot allow the continued creep of more taxes for lagging results and a trend towards more government involvement in the sacred dominion of the family. I did say families are sacred, they are. And they are being done harm in a mean twist of fate, by those purporting to help - your union.
Enough.
Rachael

Minneapolis, MN

#4 Mar 27, 2011
This article led me to actually read the proposed bill the Dooher is trying to push. All it does it make the status quo state law. What a joke.

And of course he wants smaller class sizes... that also leads to more teachers paying dues. Once again-- what a joke.

Maybe when he gets serious about doing what is best for teachers in this state our student outcomes will also improve.
Bob the Bilderberger

Minneapolis, MN

#5 Mar 27, 2011
Rachael wrote:
This article led me to actually read the proposed bill the Dooher is trying to push. All it does it make the status quo state law. What a joke.
And of course he wants smaller class sizes... that also leads to more teachers paying dues. Once again-- what a joke.
Maybe when he gets serious about doing what is best for teachers in this state our student outcomes will also improve.
Prior to 1970, when the NEA was actually a professional teachers association, their objective was studying and employing the best possible teaching practices so the student outcomes were continuously improving.

Now the NEA is focused on continuosly improving the lot of the teacher. They couldn't care less about student outcomes.
Bobbi Theis

Shakopee, MN

#6 Mar 27, 2011
Unions have so stratified the School Districts that the teachers cannot be paid more nor can the students be more educated as class sizes increase and the cirriculum, managed by unions, continues to be dumbed down by liberal democrat agendas.

Come on, these damn unions and democrats are destroying our kids' futures by their abject desire for more power, tax money and spending. Why don't people get this. These unions are going to strangle our economies.
LeDumbo

Saint Paul, MN

#7 Mar 27, 2011
Bobbi Theis wrote:
Unions have so stratified the School Districts that the teachers cannot be paid more nor can the students be more educated as class sizes increase and the cirriculum, managed by unions, continues to be dumbed down by liberal democrat agendas.
Come on, these damn unions and democrats are destroying our kids' futures by their abject desire for more power, tax money and spending. Why don't people get this. These unions are going to strangle our economies.
Yeah, Dooher has noticed that the wind has shifted, and has modified his message. Get rid of the teacher's union.
then what

Stillwater, MN

#8 Mar 27, 2011
LeDumbo wrote:
<quoted text>Yeah, Dooher has noticed that the wind has shifted, and has modified his message. Get rid of the teacher's union.
Get rid of the union.
OK.
Consider it done.
Lets move on.

How much will teachers be paid?
How will this be determined?
What will be the prerequisite education in order to teach?
What will the teacher's "hours' be?
Who will determine the desired teaching outcomes?
How will teachers be evaluated? Test scores? ratemyteacher.com ?

Where are we headed with this folks?
Bob the Bilderberger

Minneapolis, MN

#9 Mar 27, 2011
then what wrote:
<quoted text>
Get rid of the union.
OK.
Consider it done.
Lets move on.
How much will teachers be paid?
How will this be determined?
What will be the prerequisite education in order to teach?
What will the teacher's "hours' be?
Who will determine the desired teaching outcomes?
How will teachers be evaluated? Test scores? ratemyteacher.com ?
Where are we headed with this folks?
Do you really believe that those questions can't be answered unless there's a labor union in place? There was no teachers union prior to 1970 and the education system in this country worked just fine. Better, by most standards.
BlueCollar Daughter

San Francisco, CA

#10 Mar 27, 2011
Bachmann and GOPers continue to wrestle that pesky demon "Public Education"

by: BlueCollar Daughter
Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 08:18:10 AM CDT

Thursday GOP presidential hopefuls Michele Bachman, Rand Paul and Herman Cain descended upon the Iowa Christian Homeschoolers annual Capitol Day to preach fire and brimstone about the U.S. Department of education, describing it as-among other things-- a threat to our nation's children and unconstitutional.

This particular tent meeting is hardly the first time Bachmann and the GOP lunatic fringe (oh wait, are they still fringe?) has made such an attack. In courting evangelicals for the presidential bid, Republicans have been more and more donning the mantle of Reconstructonist Theology to paint Public Education as an opium den to destroy the minds of this nation's children. This is of course all taking place while Beelzebub (aka: the Democrats) steal Americans' hard-earned money (via the Satanic tools of the public school teachers and their godless commie unions).

Rand Paul told the crowd in Iowa:

BlueCollar Daughter :: Bachmann and GOPers continue to wrestle that pesky demon "Public Education"
The public school system is now a propaganda machine. They start with our kids even in kindergarten, teaching them about family values, sexual education, gun rights, environmentalism - and they condition them to believe in so much which is totally un-American.

Bachmann, who homeschooled her own 5 children--some would say with little grasp of some academic subjects herself , stated: "The family has a level of authority that the government may have trampled on. We need to make sure that families enjoy their untrammeled right without state interference."

"Enjoy" their "untrammeled right?" As a progressive parent very familiar with the workings of my own public school district and its teachers, I am wracking my brain to cobble together a list of what rights my kids' public education is trampling upon. here's what I've come up with:
A right to a safe, cost-free and quality instruction for children of all ages, creeds and needs?

A right to interventions and therapies for children with special educational needs and disabilities?
A right to eat a cost-free hot breakfast and lunch if their family is in poverty and can't feed them?
A right to be exposed to a diverse curriculum and population of others which expands the child's worldview?

A right to learn the essential academic canon without the bias or undue influence of any one individual's or groups personal faith or political ideals?

Access to athletics, art, music, languages and other enrichments that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive for most families on their own?

The most frightening part of all the anti-education rhetoric coming from the GOP 2012 camps-including from Tim Pawlenty, who in comparison sounds like a reasonable moderate with some of the anti-teacher snake oil he's trying to sell-- is just how dangerous the increasing "mainstreaming" of Reconstructionist ideas about education are. Writer Judy Ingersoll from Religion Dispatches described the gravity of these fundamentalist fringe "Christian" ideas best:

Whether through homeschooling or Christian schools, the goal is to "replace" public education... is considered unbiblical. According to Reconstructionism, the Bible gives authority for education to families-not the state-and the Bible does not give the state the authority to tax people to pay for the education of other peoples' children. Reconstructionists are therefore opposed to public education, not only for their own children, but at all. They long have been proponents of dismantling the federal Department of Education and reducing funding for public education at every opportunity.

Since: Jan 11

San Jose, CA

#11 Mar 27, 2011
then what wrote:
<quoted text>
Get rid of the union.
OK.
Consider it done.
Lets move on.
How much will teachers be paid?
How will this be determined?
What will be the prerequisite education in order to teach?
What will the teacher's "hours' be?
Who will determine the desired teaching outcomes?
How will teachers be evaluated? Test scores? ratemyteacher.com ?
Where are we headed with this folks?
Amazing how the private schools teachers educate and teach without being in a union, how could that possibly happen.
then what

Stillwater, MN

#12 Mar 27, 2011
Wolverines wrote:
<quoted text>
Amazing how the private schools teachers educate and teach without being in a union, how could that possibly happen.
I think some of you are assuming my questions are trying to demonstrate the need for a union. Not really my point.

I just really want to know what people think teachers should be paid?
and how they should be evaluated?

If its gotten out of control, where do we need to go to get it back in line with "the 70's" or "private school" standards?
Bob the Bilderberger

Minneapolis, MN

#13 Mar 27, 2011
@BlueCollar Daughter

Here's what the Minnesota Constitution says about education in this state:

ARTICLE XIII Section 1. Uniform system of public schools. The stability of a republican form of government depending mainly upon the intelligence of the people, it is the duty of the legislature to establish a general and uniform system of public schools. The legislature shall make such provisions by taxation or otherwise as will secure a thorough and efficient system of public schools throughout the state.

None of the items you listed as "rights," are rights.
Bob the Bilderberger

Minneapolis, MN

#14 Mar 27, 2011
then what wrote:
<quoted text>
I think some of you are assuming my questions are trying to demonstrate the need for a union. Not really my point.
I just really want to know what people think teachers should be paid?
and how they should be evaluated?
If its gotten out of control, where do we need to go to get it back in line with "the 70's" or "private school" standards?
How are Java programmers' salaries determined? How are telecom engineers' salaries determined? How are lawyers' salaries dtermined? Teachers salaries should be determined like any other salary is determined in a free labor market. Your labor is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

Let each teacher negotiate their salary with the district hiring manager based on their accomplishments and years of experience, like everybody else in the labor market does it.
then what

Stillwater, MN

#15 Mar 27, 2011
Bob the Bilderberger wrote:
<quoted text>
How are Java programmers' salaries determined? How are telecom engineers' salaries determined? How are lawyers' salaries dtermined? Teachers salaries should be determined like any other salary is determined in a free labor market. Your labor is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
Let each teacher negotiate their salary with the district hiring manager based on their accomplishments and years of experience, like everybody else in the labor market does it.
Thank you Bob. I like that idea
KTK

Saint Paul, MN

#16 Mar 27, 2011
Bob the Bilderberger wrote:
<quoted text>
How are Java programmers' salaries determined? How are telecom engineers' salaries determined? How are lawyers' salaries dtermined? Teachers salaries should be determined like any other salary is determined in a free labor market. Your labor is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
Let each teacher negotiate their salary with the district hiring manager based on their accomplishments and years of experience, like everybody else in the labor market does it.
Great in concept, Bob, but the difference is public schools have financial limitations the private sector doesn't have i.e. they are funded by taxpayer dollars. Because some districts are at the mercy of voter approved levies and have lower property wealth, there are major inequities from district to district. There are also compensatory adjustments that aren't always fair. The first thing that needs to happen is the legislature has to level the playing field so every district has the resources to attract quality. Then, EM needs to get out of the way of the superintendents and school boards who want to do away with tenure and replace it with a pay for performance model. We need to objectively evaluate performance with standarized measures and pay quality teachers what they deserve.
America Adrift

United States

#17 Mar 27, 2011
KTK wrote:
<quoted text>
Great in concept, Bob, but the difference is public schools have financial limitations the private sector doesn't have i.e. they are funded by taxpayer dollars. Because some districts are at the mercy of voter approved levies and have lower property wealth, there are major inequities from district to district. There are also compensatory adjustments that aren't always fair. The first thing that needs to happen is the legislature has to level the playing field so every district has the resources to attract quality. Then, EM needs to get out of the way of the superintendents and school boards who want to do away with tenure and replace it with a pay for performance model. We need to objectively evaluate performance with standarized measures and pay quality teachers what they deserve.
I liked the first half of this because it is true; there is so much ineguality from school district to school district that it is next to impossible to fix many problems. And I think that fact only gets to the heart of the matter. Before most of these suburbs were able to go it alone, the largest school districts were the city districts. Now, some of these suburban districts are fairly large AND powerful AND wealthy, while our city school districts have stagnated, weakened, and became impoverished. I say, let'd get rid of some of these districts, notably suburban ones, and let's centralize the public school system so that we can actually help all students.

Second, I don't agree that teachers are solely the problem for what ails schools. We have a lot of parents, from all income groups, that have walked out of the process, and we have too many things (TV, cell phone, video games, Facebook Pages, traveling sports programs just to name a few) geared towards attracting students to do everything except study. More importantly, peers and parents snub children that want to work on the school newspaper, or join the math club, or play the violin. We live in an era where it is cooler to be connected than it is to be hard working, let alone being a nerd. Schools should be in session longer, 7:00 or 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and all of that nonsense needs to be out of school entirely. I guarantee, if you shrink classroom sizes, consolidate a lot of these districts, centralize education, and change the culture from a let's play culture to a let's work hard culture, teachers will teach better.
Bob the Bilderberger

Minneapolis, MN

#18 Mar 27, 2011
KTK wrote:
<quoted text>
Great in concept, Bob, but the difference is public schools have financial limitations the private sector doesn't have i.e. they are funded by taxpayer dollars. Because some districts are at the mercy of voter approved levies and have lower property wealth, there are major inequities from district to district. There are also compensatory adjustments that aren't always fair. The first thing that needs to happen is the legislature has to level the playing field so every district has the resources to attract quality. Then, EM needs to get out of the way of the superintendents and school boards who want to do away with tenure and replace it with a pay for performance model. We need to objectively evaluate performance with standarized measures and pay quality teachers what they deserve.
Or another idea would be to let each school principle do the interviewing and hiring, working with an annual budget that he's given from the school board. And just like in the private sector, if he can't attract good candidates because the salaries are too low, he can appeal to the school board to increase his budget to compete with the other schools or districts.

There's competition in the private sector all the time for the best and brightest candidates (my experience is with hiring programmers) and they have to adjust their payrolls accordingly if they want to compete. And as a result of this competition for their services, programmers wouldn't join a union on a bet. The same should be true for quality teachers.
KTK

Saint Paul, MN

#19 Mar 27, 2011
America Adrift wrote:
<quoted text>
I liked the first half of this because it is true; there is so much ineguality from school district to school district that it is next to impossible to fix many problems. And I think that fact only gets to the heart of the matter. Before most of these suburbs were able to go it alone, the largest school districts were the city districts. Now, some of these suburban districts are fairly large AND powerful AND wealthy, while our city school districts have stagnated, weakened, and became impoverished. I say, let'd get rid of some of these districts, notably suburban ones, and let's centralize the public school system so that we can actually help all students.
Second, I don't agree that teachers are solely the problem for what ails schools. We have a lot of parents, from all income groups, that have walked out of the process, and we have too many things (TV, cell phone, video games, Facebook Pages, traveling sports programs just to name a few) geared towards attracting students to do everything except study. More importantly, peers and parents snub children that want to work on the school newspaper, or join the math club, or play the violin. We live in an era where it is cooler to be connected than it is to be hard working, let alone being a nerd. Schools should be in session longer, 7:00 or 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and all of that nonsense needs to be out of school entirely. I guarantee, if you shrink classroom sizes, consolidate a lot of these districts, centralize education, and change the culture from a let's play culture to a let's work hard culture, teachers will teach better.
I don't think teachers sole problem either. I don't think I said that, and you have outlined many reasons why teaching is so difficult - lack of parent involvement is a HUGE one. When parents are involved, kids succeed. But, I've seen creative, high energy, engaging teachers do amazing things with kids from impoverished backgrounds and little parent involvement so it can be done. These teachers should be paid well. I simply think tenure breeds apathy in SOME teachers, not all, but some. If they are doing their job well, they'll be secure.
KTK

Saint Paul, MN

#20 Mar 27, 2011
Bob the Bilderberger wrote:
<quoted text>
Or another idea would be to let each school principle do the interviewing and hiring, working with an annual budget that he's given from the school board. And just like in the private sector, if he can't attract good candidates because the salaries are too low, he can appeal to the school board to increase his budget to compete with the other schools or districts.
There's competition in the private sector all the time for the best and brightest candidates (my experience is with hiring programmers) and they have to adjust their payrolls accordingly if they want to compete. And as a result of this competition for their services, programmers wouldn't join a union on a bet. The same should be true for quality teachers.
I agree...as long as the resources are there for him/her to request. With the current and complicated school finance structure, it's not a given. Right now, the schools that can attract the best and pay them are the schools with high property wealth/property taxes. Their voters also tend to approve levies. The disparity between an Eden Prairie and a North Branch is astounding.

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