This piece is worth a look–it focuses on how many principals are reluctant to provide specific, honest feedback to teachers regarding their performance. Why is this? Do principals think they are doing the teachers a favor by being less than honest and by sugar-coating evaluations? What about the impact this lack of honesty is having on student learning?
Moreover, we complain about grade inflation of students–where teachers close one eye and “go easy” on a student who’s struggling. Sometimes the reasons for this include things like: she’s having a difficult time at home; or perhaps he/she is “sweet but slow”; or even “he needs to keep up his GPA in order to play sports”. I’ve heard all these excuses and more over the years–and none of them actually end up helping the student in the long run. The same is true for building principals being less than honest about teacher performance: How can you improve if you don’t know what you need to work on?
I think principals who practice this dishonest method of evaluating teacher performance are demonstrating a huge lack of professionalism–and they are helping no one–not teachers, and certainly not students.