Who's Accountable? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   I don't know about other areas of the country, but inDelaware there has been a lot of effort, especially by Governor Tom Carper, tohold teachers accountable for the performance of their students. I agree with himto some extent - of course we should have a way of seeing how effective a teacheris - but I don't agree with how Governor Carper plans to measure it. He hasproposed to base a teacher's pay partly on his or her students' performances onstandardized tests.

As much as I hate to admit it, some students wouldpurposely do poorly because they don't like a teacher. I have actually heardstudents say there are teachers they'd like to do that to. This makes basing ateacher's pay on student performance unfair.

Another reason I disagreewith the Governor's proposal is that it takes the attention off the effort we asstudents have to make to ensure our own futures. My friends and I are, to a largeextent, good students. And, of course, teachers over my eleven years in schoolhave had an impact on me. But we have to remember that the person ultimatelyresponsible for our performance is none other than us. I like certain teachersmore than others, as everyone does, but at the end of the day, I am the one whochooses to do the work for all my classes, regardless of whether I like theteacher or not. That is my responsibility as a student.

If we placed moreemphasis on student responsibility instead of teacher accountability, studentswould probably do better. After all, a high-school teacher may teach more than120 students in a day and cannot possibly make sure each and every one does thework to his or her best ability. Only the student can do that.

There hasto be a better way to determine a teacher's skill than giving studentsstandardized tests. We should also remember that it is not a teacher'sresponsibility to hover over the shoulder of each student to make sure work iscompleted. That is the responsibility of the student. We have to find a balancebetween holding teachers completely accountable and having no sense ofresponsibility at all.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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