The US is not the only nation looking at making changes to how teachers are evaluated. In an effort to improve teacher quality and encourage parents to have more children, the South Korean Ministry of Education is preparing to implement a new teacher evaluation system which will annually designate high-performing teachers and provide them with incentives including promotion and opportunities to study abroad. The system will also give indication to education officials which teachers require support. The next step is to develop uniform evaluation methods for teachers, and then pilot the new system with kindergarten teachers.
In the US, in response to the recently released “Race to the Top” regulations, much discussion has surrounded teacher evaluation systems, and what methods for evaluating teachers are most appropriate. While disagreement remains surrounding the use of standardized test data and other means of evaluating teachers, it is clear that in the US and around the world, the evaluation of educators and educational systems is necessary. If we are to ensure quality educational outcomes, evaluation must be a part of our educational systems. We cannot and should not trust that every teacher will do his/her job and children will learn. So while we work out the details on how we will evaluate teachers and systems, let us remain committed to evaluation in some form. If not, we leave the door open for children to continue to be left behind.