I spend all year teaching and assessing.
- Grades are based on agreed upon points.
- Tests are meticulously broken down to assure myself and the students that partial credits are done fairly, that everything they do that is correct and given an appropriate number of points.
- Progress reports ensure that every student can keep track of his own work and make up missing assignments, and know fairly accurately what his grade is and how he’s doing. If anything is amiss, the kids are instructed to bring it to my attention first. “I not infallible. Let's get it right” Students know that finding my error gets them points.
- Every mark or measurement has a paper trail and a justification.
That's how grades work. Everyone understands that they are not given but earned. They know what they got and why and agree that its fair because they'd give themselves the same thing. Though maybe not happy, they'll still says things like "I'm not very good at math but I sure learned a lot." "I enjoy your class, but I hate math." (Then later, the same kid says "My college statistics course was an easy A.") Depending on the course, there are scores of grades of varying weight.
Consider Merit Pay, on the other hand, and its basis.
- At the end of the year, students are given a survey on the last, hottest day of school when absolutely NONE of them want to be there.
- In a few minutes, they rush through questions that ask them to judge on a scale of 1 to 10, my use of classroom time, and 12 other vague metrics. (using their vast experience with 10th grade math teaching methods and pedagogy)
- Add in the results from the 11th grade NECAP test which this grade hasn’t taken yet and doesn't have any incentive to do well on. Mix in the 8th grade exam from two years ago - somehow this is my responsibility?
- Add an administrative evaluation from three years ago (because we're doing the fad of the moment: peer coaching)
You don't have a clue as to my value as a teacher.
You want to base my merit pay on that?