When parents help set teachers' pay

I was intrigued to see that the Deseret News just ran an Associated Press piece about teacher pay/evaluation changes in neighboring Idaho. Several elements of the Idaho initiatives intrigued me. Individual districts can come up with their evaluation schemes, and this makes a lot of sense to me. Blog readers know that I favor more rigorous teacher evaluation, but I’m skeptical, as always, of one size fits all models.

But the real kicker is that parents will have some say in evaluating teachers — and that teachers will be evaluated in part on the basis of how well they communicate with parents, and vice versa.

Most of my teaching career has been spent in the Catholic school system, which only survives because parents play such a strong and supportive role in keeping these forever cash-strapped schools open. It’s also true that when parents pay tuition, teachers and administrators have to pay attention. Many of my public school colleagues shuddered at the thought, and said as much to me. I always disagreed: I am entirely persuaded that our accountability to parents strengthened our school, and promoted much stronger parent-teacher communication.

So what do YOU think?

Here’s the link: www.deseretnews.com/

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