There has been fair reporting by the media of some opposing views of publishing teacher evaluations in newspapers; for example, those of parents, the general public, and teachers. However, there has not been mention to date that, even though they claim that it is altruistic reporting in honoring the public’s right to know, newspapers really want to publish teacher ratings to increase sales.
But the most important point that is not highlighted enough is the damage to students. The more teaching is made competitive—to the point of career-ending public humiliation in this case—the less good teachers will risk teaching underserved, often impoverished students, English language learners, and students with special needs.
Yes, it’s high-profit sensationalism and fodder for entertaining debate when teacher evaluations are published. But let’s not forget that information involving minors is usually kept confidential to protect them. Teacher evaluations should be kept confidential for the same reason: to protect all children and their right to quality education.
–Kevin Mixon, a National Board Certified Teacher from Syracuse, N.Y., is the Fine Arts Coordinator for Syracuse City Schools, author of Reaching and Teaching All Instrumental Music Students, and co-author of Teaching Music in the Urban Classroom.