Indiana Education – Job Reviews for Teachers

The performance review is back in the limelight.  Indiana teachers are rated 99% as “effective” according to the Indianapolis Star.  The Star bemoans the fact that this is not possible in business and that this needs to change when students don’t pass 25% of the statewide exams.

Dr. Tony Bennett calls it a “statistical impossibility.”  But if Dr. Bennett understood statistics he would understand that performance is driven by the education system and not individual teachers.  Teachers can claim 5% of the performance and the system (administrators, parents, technology work design, structure, etc.) can claim 95% of the performance.  So why are we spending our resources to improve the 5%?

Expect targets from the state department of education as they have for number of school days and graduation rates.  Teachers jockeying to “look good” rather than be good.  Teaching to the test rather than showing how to become better learners.

Maybe the better question is how many times in business we have to take tests about our knowledge in business.  Performance appraisals don’t help in business and won’t help in education.  It is a form of coercion, and brown-nosers . . . not innovation wins this game.

Great irony that later in the article Dr. Bennett’s goal is to make all teacher’s ratings “effective.”  I thought he said that was a statistical impossibility?

If Dr. Bennett wants to improve education he needs to improve the education system.  And with the theories he is promoting, improvement becomes a statistical impossibility.

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Tripp Babbitt is a speaker, blogger and consultant to service industry (private and public).  His organization helps executives find a better way to make the work work.  Read his articles at Quality Digest and his column for  Download free from “Understanding Your Organization as a System” and gain knowledge of systems thinking or contact us about our intervention services at [email protected].  Reach him on Twitter at LinkedIn at

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