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  • Writer's pictureAdam Aldad

Should Students Be Able to Grade Their Teachers?

In our current education systems, students are not able to properly give feedback on their teachers. Nowadays, teachers are rated by simple metrics, such as the number of people passing their class. Without a doubt, this does not give the entire picture of how skilled the teacher actually is. As a student, I know that students depend on teachers to connect with them, to treat them equally to their peers, and to progress their education. By allowing students to grade their teachers, teachers would be able to see what students think of them and be able to use constructive criticism to improve their class. For students, it means that they can have a platform to speak out about things that they believe are unfair.

In some schools in New Jersey, student evaluations are being given more and more weight. At first, they were only provided to the teacher, but there is are plans for them to be used as a metric in teacher assessment. A research project conducted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which looked multiple ways of evaluating teachers, found that both student achievement and classroom observation should be given strong weight in judging the effectiveness of teachers. In some ways, it can be eye-opening for teachers to hear directly from their students. Student opinions are often unheard and teacher evaluations could allow them to voice their true feelings about their education. These evaluations can potentially major stepping stones in the careers of the teachers. The grading system can also be beneficial to management. Through the student made grades, management can learn which teachers to release and which teachers to promote. Responses received from students, which would be kept anonymous, would help the shy, timid kids to speak out and stand up for what they believe is fair. Clearly, there is much upside to creating a grading system for students to use to grade their teachers.

On the other hand, some disagree with student grading systems. If used, assessing teachers like this could tie their job security to how well the students like them. For disruptive, students, this can mean revenge on their teacher. Not only that, students may give assessments based on how happy they are with their grades. Many students fail to understand that their grade does not fully represent the teacher’s skill. Also, it’s important to note that students may not actually understand enough about teaching to give a fair grade.  Lastly, if there are any personal issues between the student’s family, the family can use it against the teacher. They can easily get their son or daughter to write a horrible assessment to hurt the teacher’s overall grade.

Overall, I believe that students should have a platform to tell their teachers what they need to do better on. It’s important for students to have the best possible teaching experience they can, and this is the best way to create that. Teachers will learn from constructive criticism from the students. However, it is extremely important that institutions make sure that all grades are fair, and no bias is involved. Ultimately, students should be able to grade their teachers.

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