Bill Gates and Teacher Effectiveness

Bill Gates, entrepreneur turned philanthropist, says: “Measuring the effectiveness of teachers is vital to creating better schools. He says better measuring will empower teachers to do their best.”

I believe it is a good idea to give teachers ample opportunities to receive feedback on techniques that will enhance learning for all students. However, one must keep in mind not all schools are created equal. Consequently, school districts have a monumental job in figuring how they should implement and measure effective teaching.

Imagine working in a school where most of the students get very little support from home. Is it  fair to assume teachers are not effective because students do not fare well on standardized tests? On the other hand, what happens in a school where students get ample support from home? Research has shown that there is a huge correlation between student achievement and parental support. Even though, it is a great idea to measure teacher effectiveness, but we must consider all the facts before moving forward.

There is one more important factor that I think is critical in helping teachers become effective leaders. To set students up for success a teacher can’t do it alone. He or she needs the support of the principal. The principal sets the tone. During my 25 years of teaching, I experienced firsthand what it is like to have a bad principal. Teaching is hard, and it becomes more challenging when you get very little support from administration. A little bit of encouragement from a caring principal goes a long way.

I consider myself very lucky to be working at a high school where there is a lot of parental support. I love Denver South High School, where I currently teach French and Spanish. There are several reasons why I love my new job:

· The principal is a great leader who treats me with the utmost respect
· The parents are very supportive of their children
· The student body is very diverse
· The faculty and staff are very supportive of each other

I have a great amount of respect for Mr. Gates and his dedication to support the Measures of Effective teaching, or MET, project. Go here to find out more about the MET project.

Article first published as Bill Gates and Teacher Effectiveness on Blogcritics.

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