What if students weren’t the only ones being graded? Castro Valley High School ’s Leadership class is hoping to start an online confidential teacher evaluation program.
The purpose of this program would be to try to help teachers know how well they are doing their job. Essentially, it would be a semester report card, but for teachers. This online system is only in its planning stages, but Leadership is hopeful that the administration will soon approve.
Aily Zhang, a senior at CVHS, brought up the idea of this new system, and Leadership quickly created a committee. The committee is struggling to set up a meeting with the busy administrators, although they do like the overall concept and idea. The process is much slower than expected. Accompanying Zhang, the other members of the committee are Jane Hong, Brenda Liu, Sam Ison, and Joe Kang.
The committee plans on presenting the idea to the principal and staff to get it approved and rev up the internet system. The online evaluation program would happen every semester. Students will need to provide information about themselves, for example, what their GPA is, to get a better understanding of what the student is like. This is to ensure that a teacher will not get a bad review from a student who does poorly in school, and so therefore the opinion is not very valid. But, problems and concerns have been pointed out.
“You can’t stop students from giving bad evaluations even if they don’t mean it,” says Student Activities and Leadership director, Nick Whitaker. “It depends on the teacher and whether they actually use it or not. Some teachers might take it seriously, some teachers might not. The other con might be, what if students aren’t giving constructive feedback? What if they’re just saying ‘I don’t like them, they suck,’ or ‘I like them, they’re really good.’ We need constructive criticism so as long as students are doing that we’re okay. Otherwise it doesn’t really do much good.
“But if you really want a teacher to do something about it you need to be a little bit more thoughtful and you need to be a little bit more constructive,” Whitaker elaborated. “What are they doing wrong? Are they too strict, are they just not there, do they show favoritism? So, it’s really just all on the students if they want better teachers, they need to tell us. That’s the whole point behind the evaluation.”
Leadership hopes for the teacher evaluation program to be up and running by the end of this semester.