Report Cards... for the Teacher

I came across a blog post the other day that discussed the possibility of having an annual report card for school teachers.

I’ve given some thought to the notion of report cards for teachers. The school board and superintendent along with the teachers union can work together on the design. One important function of the report card would be to communicate the “teacher’s results” to the public (that is once we determine what the results should look like and from what they should be derived!)

Now I'm not a fan of report cards for students for a variety of reasons so I will remain very skeptical about report cards for teachers. Now, this being said, the issues I have with report cards are that a) they don't tell you very much; b) they don't accurately assess ability; and c) people tend to "fixate" on them even though they are not helpful (a) and not accurate (b).

I guess I'm not sure to what problem a "teacher report card" is the solution. Is it to hold "bad" teachers accountable (good luck defining a "bad" teacher)? Is it to help the teacher to identify areas of need (according to whom)? Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. I'm all for helping ALL teachers become better at his or her craft, I just don't think this would be a logical way to go about doing it.