Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by AllStressedOut, Oct 17, 2007.
I deleted this
I never heard of it. I barely know the teachers so far. I have a meeting next week though!
That site makes me very nervous. It looks as though anyone can post and there's no recourse for defamation/libel (even a students doing pranks). I don't see the point, either. I would prefer to talk to other parents for teacher recommendations than read anonymous comments. It isn't like finding the best latte in town, it's about matching the right educator to your child.
There are a series of similar sites in my area, masked a local news organizations, which include a link on the forum to rate your teacher.
The sites were started by a conservative state senator who wanted to gather information on public school satisfaction in oder to support vouchers. Over time the news function has gone away, along with all reporters, editors, and message board moderators, and the community is left with a free internet slam boards. The kids get on, curse each other out, but have mostly left fof facebook and myspace. The adults are out of control. Rumors, slander, more rumors, all anonymous posters, etc.
I am now VERY LEERY of teacher ratings. And unmoderated message boards.
I agree, this does not seem like a good idea for anyone. If I were a teacher I think I'd try to garner some support from my union and start an action against it.
There will always be at least one student or family out of 30 students who doesn't like a teacher and as we know, it only takes ONE negative comment to stop and make people think. This is scary to me and has the potential to become inflammatory!
I agree with TM. What's the point?
What if teachers started a Rate The Parent site? We would be outraged to be so blatantly judged with no recourse.
Personally, I think the url should be removed from our site in order to not bring it any more traffic.
in my humble opinion, of course.
I didn't think of it that way. I thought if people like me were to post honest postings, it would be nice.
I like the vet rating section and attorney rating section. I want to know if they are worth the $ you are spending before its spent.
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: AllStressedOut</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I like the vet rating section and attorney rating section. I want to know if they are worth the $ you are spending before its spent.</div></div>
But see, as a former vet tech for a large animal vet, I have to say that the clients who were most appreciative of her work were generally quiet. The ones who expected way too much, as in get my horse healthy for a show in two weeks after I have neglected basic upkeep for two years, were the ones who called all the time, were aggressive and demanding when she came to the property, and were never going to be satisfied. Over time, she found a way to carefully drop those clients.
And my mother was a lawyer. Again, the ones who were satisfied referred her to their friends. But the one time she was reported to the Board of Bar Overseers, in a case that was thrown out after a preliminary investigation, the person who reported her was angry that she charged him for calling her four or five times a day.
There's a professional relationship in education, law, and medicine which is DIFFERENT than the pure retail relationship.
I cannot really express how much damage our own "rate your teacher" site has done in our community. Raw, nasty, and persistent do not sufficiently describe the horror.
It may be something started with an honestly good intent, but I checked my child's school and there were about only 10 teachers on there. One teacher had two comments. One good and the other was saying some not so nice things about the teacher. It's free reign. If a kid doesn't like the teacher, they can bash. If the parent has a problem, they can bash. When does it end?
Personally, I'd prefer it if the site posted the test scores or something more specific, rather than a free for all that is completely subjective.
There is a site I have saved somewhere...right now I cant remember where, that is a rate your doctor type thing. Or maybe its more a Post good doctors and bad doctors and why type thing. I have posted on there all the doctors I have been to in my area and given my satisfaction with the really good ones. I hope I have influenced some folks to use them. Oddly enough, I found I wasnt the only one to have the same negative experience with one really bad doctor almost word for word.
Personally I like knowing before hand if a doctor is going to be a jerk.
Angie's List? I think there is room for sites like that for docs, construction companies, etc. It's a place to find out who is worth paying for. The companies are welcome to dispute it. Ugly maybe, but it's adults and not involving kids.
However, it's a different ball game when you are dealing with annonymous posters for teachers. They could be kids, parents with various issues. The place for that is your board of ed. meetings, not a public bashing site. If the teachers come on and dispute, kids names are involved then. Things can get out in the open. If you bring the teacher out in the open, it's only fair for them to defend themselves. It can get mightly ugly and kids are involved. Not good.
Oh, but Loth, that opens a whole new can of worms. Who is going to have the higher scores? The teacher with all gifted classes or the teacher with all remedial classes? I guarantee it will be the gifted teacher but I also guarantee that the teacher of the remedial classes will have worked just as hard if not harder.
in my humble opinion, I think that is why merit pay for teachers is a bad idea. Everyone will fight to teach the high achieving students and no one will want to teach the low achieving students (often known as difficult children on our board).
I think that tiredmommy is on the right track. Word of mouth and personal experience is the best judge of whether a teacher will be the right fit for a child in elementary school. I do think, though, that there comes a point where the child needs to learn to deal with all kinds of teachers just like they will have to deal with all kinds of people in the real world (bosses included).
by the way, I checked the site a long time ago and nothing was posted about me. I didn't know whether to feel happy or sad. I don't think most of our students are even aware of the site. I just tried it again and found that it was blocked here at school.
I have to thank the posters that responded that this kind of thing was really not a good idea. I honestly thought that this was just going to turn into another teacher bashing thread.
Yes, you are right Kathy. But, it's the only objective thing to post on a sight like that. Anything subjective is merely on a personal bias.
See, I see it differently. I think I am fully capable of making my own mind up, but it is nice to have some insight. As for what the kids post, well, I think we are all smart enough to know how kids are.
I looked up my older boys middle school and the two teachers I would have posted nice things about were listed and had a bunch of nice comments about them, but ONLY from students, no parents, so I posted nice things.
I also posted about my attorney, I actually added her to the list. Again, a good recommendation, not a bad word.
I can't say lately I've had any seriously negative experiences with businesses, but if I did, I would state facts on my post and let others take from it as they wish.
I love sites that give you consumer opinions. I would much rather go to a hairdresser, attorney, doctor and more, that was recommended highly by someone.
Having been on the receiving end of a webpage that didn't have nice things to say about me, I can tell you public bashing is the worst humiliation. You have no recourse. You can't face your accusers. You can't counter or explain the situation. It's their word against yours. You can sue but the personal damage is done and can be devastating. Just think about what a troll could do?
Imagine if a student or a difficult child parent posts Mrs or Mr XYZ has an ugly face or fat behind? is gay? It's obvious it's a kid or someone stupid but how humiliated would you be?
Someday the web will have restrictions like other types of media. It's still too unregulated with no reprucussions for those who have no moral compass.
Teachers like mother's run the gamut. Some are horrid, some walk on water but most are just like us. They are trying to do the right thing for our kids. Shouldn't we have a better way to understand what works for our kids than public postings? These are people, not movies or products where ratings work and are helpful.
For what it's worth, my difficult child was once assigned to the teacher in our building that parents would most have liked to see retire. Despite my misgivings, she did a superb job with him and he liked being in her class.
I see your point of view Fran. I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of bad mouthing either. I would however want to read what people posted that was positive. The excerpts I read were all positive. It seemed those that visited the site truly just wanted to say "good job" and not bash anyone.
I do think if this site isn't moderated by someone, it should be. I think you're getting into an area where people need to only state facts and a moderator would be the one to view it and determine if it seems fact based. The problem is, with an online community that is nation wide, it is very difficult to check out what seems fact based.
You may find that many students or parents feel the same way about a teacher that you do. Maybe before finding that out you were blaming your kid for messing up. I'm having that experience this year with my oldest easy child in math. Then I found out that all the honors kids are having the same problems, most with worse grades than my son. Thats a teacher specific thing, not a student thing. These are things I'd like to hear about so I know to address them with her and with her supervisor. If I think its my son, I'm dishing out punishments instead of realizing the true problem. If all the kids are having the same problems, its not the kids.
I use this theory with my oldest difficult child. If he can't work with anyone, then its not the other kids who have a problem, its him.
I'm more likely to visit a new place if it comes recommended by real people and not paid critics. I also don't necessarily believe test scores make a school better or worse. I believe its the people that make a school. I guess thats why I like the idea of real people ratings. You just have to take in what you read and process it yourself with your own experiences.
OK, but what's a fact?
The message board in my town is overrun with parents of athletes who scream bloody murder about the bad, bad, ever so bad union. Anytime the teachers get a raise, there's all kids of comments about how horrible XYZ teacher is because she at one point served as the secretary for the union.
Is that a critique of her skills in the classroom?
I've been bashed for supposedly carrying on an affair with the president of the school board. How in the world do you defend against that accusation on an anonymous message board. If I decry the rumor to the newspapers, then more people go look at the trainwreck that is the site. I can't defend myself on the site because then it opens up more attacks. And then attacks on my children. Just lovely.
The most horrific statements about teachers have not been from the students, some of whom come online to defend their teachers, but it comes from the parents.
I need to stop reading this thread. It's making me upset just consider that anyone thinks this could possibly be a good idea with enough supervision. Until you've seen one go sideways in person, it's really hard to imagine how very nasty people can be.
(And my difficult child was beautifully educated by a teacher in school who had a very bad reputation from parents. And the one who was highly recommended, and whom I had tried to get assigned to my child, ended up being something of a disaster. Very hard to rectify interpersonal relationships with pure teaching ability.)
I see your point when it comes to bashing.
I guess I think of it as a way to honestly state your opinion. Since all I posted were good comments about teachers I adore, I didn't think of the other end. I'm an honest person, but that doesn't mean everyone is.
I'm sure there are parents and students who post completely untrue things on that site. I read the user comments and many people were against it, but then a few who posted kudos to the site were actually teachers. They felt it gave the students an outlet to express their opinions. I think for my kids, that is how they would use it, but I'm sure other kids would use it as a bashing session.
As for posting about personal lives or appearance, that doesn't apply to their teaching abilities. I would hope anyone who read these types of comments would understand that. I would also hope that a moderator would keep those types of things from being posted, but from what I understand, this isn't happening. That isn't fair and defending yourself would bring more attention to the site.
I'm feel bad for anyone who this has happened to, but it isn't something I would do. It also isn't something I witnessed with my kids schools and teachers. This is why my train of thought didn't go there.
Separate names with a comma.