When Teachers Cheat

Last time when I was evaluated, the dean commented that in one of my classes, the students thought I was unclear. My own reaction was that it was the worst class I ever had in that particular course. Obviously, I was unclear, since  I wasn’t reaching them. The evaluations were realistic. I knew they would be low, but sometimes that happens.

If someone’s job depended on these evaluations, the way they are given where I work is a joke. The teacher is responsible for giving them and for seeing that they are brought to the office. There are many ways to cheat. For a teacher in danger of being fired, the temptation must be high.

In primary and secondary education there is a a great deal of evidence saying that teachers cheat. The evidence also suggests that honest teachers get fired, because they don’t improve the scores of students whose tests were artificially inflated the previous year. The way the system is set up, honesty is punished.

It may be insulting for someone else to come into my classroom and give the evaluations to my students, but I prefer being in a system where people are not trusted to being in a system where cheating is rewarded, particularly when it is so easy to cheat.


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