Reliable judges required

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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:31 am

Noted recycler Adele Horin wants and wants and wants us to ask the students. May 17, 2003:

If you want to know who the bad teachers are in a school, ask the students. They know. They are reliable judges, certainly by middle primary school when they are experienced enough to make a comparison … and they do not confuse popularity with skill, though the two often go hand in hand.

February 4, 2006:

If you want to know who the bad teachers are in a school, ask the students. They are good judges.

September 23, 2006:

If you want to know which teachers in a school deserve merit pay, ask the students. By middle primary school, they are reliable judges of who is a competent teacher. And they do not confuse popularity with skill, though the two often go hand in hand.

(Detected by reader Jennifer B.)

Posted by Tim B. on 10/02/2006 at 01:54 PM
    1. If you want to read bad writing, read Adele Horin.  Don’t confuse bland prose with repetitive drivel, but the two often go hand in hand.

      Posted by the wolf on 2006 10 02 at 02:10 PM • permalink


    1. Great.  Teaching as a popularity contest.

      Posted by Keith on 2006 10 02 at 02:23 PM • permalink


    1. To be fair, Tim, you’re not above recycling material yourself – if not about students then about tachers.

      Posted by bgates on 2006 10 02 at 02:26 PM • permalink


    1. People ask me why the hell Adele Horin writes so much shit.

      “Arsehole” I offer helpfully.

      Posted by andycanuck on 2006 10 02 at 02:28 PM • permalink


    1. To be fair, Tim, you’re not above recycling material yourself – if not about students then about tachers.

      Yeah, Tim often posts items that are virtually verbatim as if they were new.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2006 10 02 at 02:36 PM • permalink


    1. To be fair, Tim, you’re not above recycling material yourself – if not about students then about tachers.

      Yeah, Tim often re-posts previous items that are virtually verbatim as if they were new.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2006 10 02 at 02:38 PM • permalink


    1. To be fair, Tim, you’re not above recycling material yourself – if not about students then about tachers.


      Yeah, Tim often re-posts old stuff virtually verbatim as if it was new.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2006 10 02 at 02:42 PM • permalink


    1. LOL, Dave.

      I taught a bit in a community college and the students who didn’t work hard and got poor grades rated me a lot lower as a teacher than those who worked hard and learned.

      By all means ask the students, then invert the results.

      Posted by Some0Seppo on 2006 10 02 at 02:53 PM • permalink


    1. Echoing SomeOSeppo, my SO is a math teacher in Silicon Valley.

      She knows which students would give her a poor rating and which would give her a good rating.

      The funny things is, it’s correlated with their results.

      Posted by Loki on the run on 2006 10 02 at 03:01 PM • permalink


    1. Oh good, let’s have teachers’ salaries dependent on what the kids allow the state to pay them. What could go wrong?

      /irony 101

      Posted by localharbor on 2006 10 02 at 03:03 PM • permalink


    1. She’s trading on what’s called “pastoral’’ sentiment, but is hard up for vehicles for it.

      I’d also consult fools and rogues, if she needs it again.

      “Solidly true to the facts of our nature.’’

      “Not insisting on social dignity.’’

      See Wm. Empson, _The Structure of Complex Words_, “Honest Numbers,’’ p.204

      Posted by rhhardin on 2006 10 02 at 03:03 PM • permalink


    1. And before anyone cites the example of the Scottish Enlightmnement, when, IIRC, the U’s at Glasgow & Edinburgh had students pay their lecturers directly, which resulted in much better lectures …

      … remember, in that case, students were there by choice, spending their own money.

      Posted by localharbor on 2006 10 02 at 03:11 PM • permalink


    1. I have worked in tertiary institutions in the past and have seen many student evaluation of teachers. They need to be used carefully.

      Students will identify really bad teachers by giving them bad ratings. They do however have a tendency though to give the best rating to those teachers who give out lots of high grades, set easy tests etc.  A teacher that pushes students to acheive the highest they are capable are unlikely to be rated the highest amongst the majority of students (some will appreciate them).

      That being said the really bad teachers do get very bad feedback from students.

      Posted by Mike.A. on 2006 10 02 at 03:12 PM • permalink


    1. #4 Noted ROC commenter recycles opinions.

      Quebec demands separation

      Posted by jlc on 2006 10 02 at 04:14 PM • permalink


    1. I believe what she needs is an extra memory card. And a good hard drive.

      Posted by Dminor on 2006 10 02 at 04:39 PM • permalink


    1. “Noted recycler Adele Horin wants and wants and wants us to ask the students.”

      Leftist dolts seem to derive a good deal of comfort from endlessly repeating their inane drivel.

      I think it’s some sort of religious ritual.

      Posted by Dave Surls on 2006 10 02 at 05:17 PM • permalink


    1. Do Fairfax actually pay this woman?

      Posted by Bonmot on 2006 10 02 at 05:41 PM • permalink


    1. Firstly, teachers are not accountable to anyone except themselves. Who monitors them? Why do they bully they bully each other in the school system?

      This is the immediate dysfunction.

      They educate pupils but with this in mind to do what in society? It appears to me they are the real Bullies within the school system along with the Unions who hinder the ABCDEF concepts in NSW. STATE Labor governments have ceded control of curriculum to individual schools and have failed to monitor the quality of teaching because they are captives of the teachers’ unions.

      One only has to understand the system is based upon a Rote Chinese school style of education and this is so Un-australian. The NSW education system is toxic and corrupted.

      Teachers contribute to the bullying concept.

      Posted by 1.618 on 2006 10 02 at 05:58 PM • permalink


    1. “ask the students”

      So the “cute” ones will get all the dough and accolades. At least, that’s what would have swung student votes for teachers back in my day. I rather doubt things have changed. So it’s okay in Australia for leftist media persons to be “lookists”?

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2006 10 02 at 06:24 PM • permalink


    1. By Middle Primary the kids can tell the difference between a fun person and an effective educator?

      (That’s around 8-10 years old.)

      Posted by Henry boy on 2006 10 02 at 06:33 PM • permalink


    1. OT: I hate this blog.

      I used to visit when I got bored reading the news or doing work. Now I read the news or do work when I’ve run out of stuff to read here.

      I blame George W Bush.

      Posted by Henry boy on 2006 10 02 at 06:38 PM • permalink


    1. I am beggining to detect a theme here, on this “blog”, after a couple of months of participation. (WOW spelled that correctly first time)……. Adele Horne is stupid.

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2006 10 02 at 06:43 PM • permalink


    1. This has made sense for over 30 years, since the ‘brilliant’ concept of ‘child-centred education’ became all the rage.
      The logical result of this [logic not being a strong suit among the teaching fraternity]is a ‘child-centred society’, or the infantilisation of our culture.
      It has already largely happened in art and music, and the only thing slowing the trend has been the determination of the left to indoctrinate students with adult radical concepts and causes [as I said, logic is not a strong suit among teachers, but false security and vanity is].
      Once upon a time adults were considered in charge of their children and able to teach them what they need to know.  But first they always had to get their attention by giving them a stable and disciplined environment.
      Schools have failed in this first aim, so why not let ‘kids’ run the schools completely, only letting in the childish adults who can mind them, flatter and humour them until they are all let loose?
      I recall the Maoist students who invaded the vice-chancellors’ offices in Western universities in the 70s- in Adelaide’s Flinders no less a person than Sir Mark Oliphant was reduced to tears. No-one got the left’s anarchic message then, and very few do now…

      A former teacher laments…

      Posted by Barrie on 2006 10 02 at 06:56 PM • permalink


    1. #14 Hey, Andycanuck lives in Montreal. Of course, when Quebec separates, west Montreal Island will stay in Canada, along with all those nice restaurants in St. Anne de Belleville.

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2006 10 02 at 06:56 PM • permalink


    1. Hey Wimpy still a little prob mate….

      Posted by Bonmot on 2006 10 02 at 06:58 PM • permalink


    1. Teacher evaluations are best done by disinterested observers who visit classrooms randomly.  Evaluations done by students lead to grade inflation and a lot of poorly educated students.  Don’t believe it?  Look at what universities have become.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 10 02 at 07:05 PM • permalink


    1. @25 #^##@RATS@#$*&^# damn keyboard too small.

      I need keys one inch square.

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2006 10 02 at 07:09 PM • permalink


    1. The parents have little trouble figuring out who the good teachers are. They are already rewarded financially by being hired at $70/hour (tax free) in the burgeoning private tutoring industry which now seems to be a fixture of the NSW education system.

      Posted by dipole on 2006 10 02 at 07:11 PM • permalink


    1. If you want to know who the bad journalists are, ask Jennifer B.

      Posted by anthony_r on 2006 10 02 at 07:19 PM • permalink


    1. There was much about her last article that could be ‘Fisked’. Her one example was of SCEGGS, an upmarket girls school. One wonders how her policies would work say, at a Government school out west.

      Actually, her ideas are baseless. Any good Principal or DP should have a good idea of what is going on in the classroom.

      Posted by Nic on 2006 10 02 at 07:57 PM • permalink


    1. Start the student assessment of teachers early, I say.

      Students assess their teachers at University and the results are tied very closely to tenure and promotion. Sounds like a good idea to start it early, for example in primary (elementary) school.

      Posted by kae on 2006 10 02 at 08:00 PM • permalink


    1. I don’t get it. Adele Horin is consistent and that is bad?

      Posted by lingus4 on 2006 10 02 at 08:07 PM • permalink


    1. I don’t get it. Adele Horin is consistent and that is bad?

      It is when she is consistently stupid.

      Posted by geoff on 2006 10 02 at 08:41 PM • permalink


    1. #33 So shouldn’t we focus on the stupidity?

      Posted by lingus4 on 2006 10 02 at 08:48 PM • permalink


    1. A Dill is such a little girl, believing everything will turn out rosy if we’d only be nice and honest to each other. Thus, the teacher who recognises kids with strengths in say, maths, will be extra nice to those kids, ensuring she gets a rep for “niceness” even among those not in the maths group. Pretty soon, teach has a strong co-hort of support. Any man who’s fathered a popular, intelligent teenage schoolgirl knows this. A Dill’s “bad” teachers would include those who constantly tell “cruisers” they can do better, or pedagogues who sneer at air-head pop culture concerns and demand they get on with their work. It gets down to increasingly dumbed-down teens deciding who’s cool and who’s not. And A Dill reckons that’s a feasible way to rate professional development.

      Posted by slatts on 2006 10 02 at 09:01 PM • permalink


    1. I stand with Lingus here in praise of the consistent. We really deserve more credit.

      Posted by Margos Maid on 2006 10 02 at 09:34 PM • permalink


    1. One of the things I find hysterically entertaining about this sort of incessant recycling of material by leftie journalists is that it’s such a great example of capitalism in action.

      If you can produce an article(s) once and simply mildly rework it to sell them off as completely original work, you’re making a highly logical gamble in favour of efficient-yet-unethical production processes that’ll rake you in a damn sight more money than having to spend all your time producing completely new articles.

      It also goes some way to explaining the left’s anti-capitalism bias – so many of their adherents spend so much time indulging in the most unethical version of capitalism possible that they cannot see the ethical side of capitalism because they’re blinded by their own practices.

      Posted by pache on 2006 10 02 at 09:37 PM • permalink


    1. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of simple minds.”—Emerson*

      *”boombababoom, badadadadabum, *KISH*!” –Palmer

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 10 02 at 10:22 PM • permalink


    1. But John Howard winning four elections is a sign of … deluded voters, presumably?

      Posted by blogstrop on 2006 10 02 at 10:32 PM • permalink


    1. Wimpy at #27

      The fingers you have used to type with are too fat.

      To order a special typing wand please mash the keyboard with your palm …

      Posted by The Prez on 2006 10 02 at 10:37 PM • permalink


    1. Sure thing Adele, let’s have Australian Teaching Idol where all the kiddies can SMS their favourite teacher.

      That way the English teacher who lets the kids watch Neighbours will get the good oil and the one who insists Hamlet is taught will get dissed.

      A recipe for imrpoving literacy if ever I saw one.

      Posted by The Prez on 2006 10 02 at 10:40 PM • permalink


    1. #38 – Okay, richard, Emerson and Palmer have spoken. Was Lake not available for comment?

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2006 10 02 at 11:23 PM • permalink


    1. #38:- “sloosh sloosh sloosh…”– Lake.

      Posted by Habib on 2006 10 03 at 12:15 AM • permalink


    1. #14 I thought I could get into Oz with a firm job offer from the SMH, jlc. I had hoped as a proofreader, but I understand that Canadians have a bad reputation in Oz for typos for some strange reason. (And I certainly hope the SMH editors aren’t as keen-eyed as yourself.)

      Posted by andycanuck on 2006 10 03 at 12:58 AM • permalink


    1. Here’s a Kiwi site which is very quick to assure you that it is not about slander and vindictiveness.  A place you can visit and watch six reputations smeared before you’ve had your morning coffee.

      What was that about the crazy little children jangling the keys of the kingdom?

      Posted by Inurbanus on 2006 10 03 at 03:28 AM • permalink


    1. #43 Habib:- a little late but – LMAO – brilliant [as usual]!!

      Posted by LaoHuLi on 2006 10 03 at 04:34 AM • permalink


    1. I think we need a new acronym for Habib – how about

      CWL = crying with laughter

      DWL = doubled-up with laughter

      Posted by kae on 2006 10 03 at 05:06 AM • permalink


    1. At least she plagiarizes her own work – Phatty Adams knows his work is shite so philches phrom the New Yorker instead.

      Posted by Bearded Mullah on 2006 10 03 at 05:41 AM • permalink


    1. #28 Oz wide phenomenon dipole…

      Posted by crash on 2006 10 03 at 08:37 AM • permalink


    1. Hey- I’m just a 21st century schizoid man, just like Fisky, Pilgy< Phatty and even Delly*.

      *She must have at least one dick, quite possibly two. Only explantion for sillyness, unless it’s all due to hysteria.

      Posted by Habib on 2006 10 03 at 09:23 AM • permalink


    1. Swinish—I think he’s touring with Cat Stevens and I don’t speak Arabic…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 10 03 at 08:03 PM • permalink


    1. kae: GG (Gigantic Guffaw) is what Habib usually draws from me with his turn of phrase.

      PS. Robert Fripp is one of the most interesting artists to have ever laid hands on the electric 6-stringer.

      Posted by Henry boy on 2006 10 03 at 08:20 PM • permalink


    1. Would that be the “Look At Us, We’re Not Dead Yet!” tour, richard?

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2006 10 03 at 08:58 PM • permalink


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