Should Teachers Be Judged on Student Performance
I personally feel this question to be very tricky? To have a measuring index for performance of teachers, answer is yes. Teachers can be judged on student performance. But one has to bear in mind the other factors which may affect student performance. Here we are assuming that when we say student performance, we are taking the average of the class of students. Let us now consider the pros and cons of holding a teacher responsible for the performance of his students.
Let us now discuss a system where teachers performance is measured by the test score of its students. This grading system is in force in most of the education system. Teachers are under pressure to perform well through his students. As his promotion, yearly hike and other benefits are linked to this grading system. His brings a healthy competition among the teachers and each performs its best to compete among selves, in turn benefiting the students as whole. Second advantage of judging a teacher on its student's performance is that each teacher will try to improve the average score. Hence to do that he or she will pay personal attention to the last student who has less aptitude in learning due to various external factors.
This way the school administration or the institute can chaff off the bad grade teachers due to their low student performance. Also with this kind race to top grading system in effect, it enriches the brand of the teacher. Just like any product coupled with good quality and effective advertisement becomes a brand in the market. This enhances the teacher's career as a whole. When he moves from one city to another or interstate, he can carry these accolades and points in his profile. This will help the teacher as individual to apply for better jobs and need not depend on external references.
Third advantage of this grading system is that it nurtures a healthy teacher student relationship. Throughout the academic year, a teacher gives his best to impart knowledge and education. And students in turn give back their due by faring well in the exams. It is like the guru student relationship happened in ancient India. Many such eminent examples like Chandragupta, etc have excelled in their lives and holds important position in history. They achieved such glory through the teachings of such great teachers and in turn brought glory to their teachers.
But there is a other side of the coin. Here this grading system is established under assumption that students are honest recipients of the education imparted. The efficiency of the student in studies is under assumption. There are many consequences of such grading system.
First the grading institute does know the condition of its students outside the periphery of its campus. A teacher student relationship is a two way traffic. A teacher teaches and student listens. What if a student only listens? He never revises nor does he prepare for his exams. This may be due to various reasons like his socio economic back ground, his family back ground or may be plain vanilla reason that he has no interest in studies and may want to pursue his career in other streams like sports, arts etc. Then should the teacher be penalize for his falling grades?
Second disadvantage is biasness. Suppose a teacher or a student has some personal ill feeling towards each other and both under mutually assured destruction psychology charges towards each other. In such situations it difficult to chaff out the problem depending upon any stereotype grading system. We need to have a efficient feedback system in place and seek help from a education consular.
Third disadvantage is attendance. Many colleges have mandatory 75% attendance to write the terminal exams. It is the onus of the students to be present in scheduled date and time for the learning. What if the students just manages 75% attendance and in rest 25% of the time teacher has covered few topics and chapters from which most of the questions in the exam came. Should be the teacher penalize then if the students failed to score?
Fourth what if certain urban students have the access to all the modern facilities of learning and at the same time their counterpart remote rural areas don't. The urban teacher is at the advantage of putting his efforts for a guaranteed result because of the infrastructure around him is supporting him directly or indirectly. The urban students as compared to rural students are aware of more facts and figures. In such scenarios this grading system of evaluating teachers does not evaluate a fair result. In short it will be unfair to grade a teacher without evaluating the circumstances.
To cut the long story short there are many more permutations and combination where this grading system of evaluating teachers based upon student performance would not hold good. It has to be supported by some kind of regular feedback system or evaluation by a subject matter expert on regular intervals of time. Moreover, degrading teachers when their students have already failed in the exam is like beating the stick when the snake has already gone.
This is not of its first kind. The rating system is employed in countries like United States and other European countries but has failed to score the point. Within months of its implementation, it is either modified to a more complex grading system or is totally scrapped off.
In my opinion teaching involves a teacher and a student. Both should be in their comfort region to invest their time and sit together for the discussion. Like one can see a image only in clam clear water. Similarly, one can achieve certain degree of learning only when mind is receptive to do so. Turbulent times leads to wastage of time and money. Hence I would suggest, teachers should be evaluated not only by student performance but also by other factors - like his personality, communication and presentation skills, etc.