Teachers still not settled on student surveys - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Teachers still not settled on student surveys

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Hawaii's public school teachers agreed to student evaluation of their classroom performance as part of the four-year contract they ratified in April. Many opposed the surveys back then and many still do.

"The evaluation is not a 'gotcha.' It's really a process that's geared towards improving practice," Department of Education deputy school superintendent Ronn Nozoe said.

He said The Tripod Student Survey will account for ten percent of a teacher's evaluation.

Mililani High School teacher Amy Perusso worries kids who race through it will skew results.

"They're treated as kind of a faceless part of a larger aggregate. They don't take the survey seriously because they don't feel connected to what's happening," she said.

Next year the survey will help determine pay raises.

"Teachers and principals and us as state-level administrators need to know what students think about what they are experiencing in the classrooms every day," Nozoe said.

But Perusso said it's unfair because no two classrooms are alike.

"Teachers who are working with struggling students, they're subject to the same kinds of surveys," she said.

Teachers complain questions are too hard for some younger children, and surveys take too long and steal class time. But Nozoe said the survey is age appropriate, and a pilot project at 81 schools proves it's accurate.

"Hawaii teachers fared at or above the national norms," he said. "So people are worried about whey they consider to be the boogeyman, and they shouldn't be."

We asked students for their opinions.

"I think this is a pretty accurate way of determining the effectiveness and efficiency of the classroom," senior Ryan Reedy said.

"I definitely do think it is fair because we are the ones getting the education," Rachel Yonamine said.

"I really appreciated the teacher. So I gave it some thought. I was reflecting how I really felt during school and class," Joseph Tagorda said.

The surveys are aimed at seven elements of teaching practices, including how students are motivated and how they behave.

"One of the successes I think with the Tripod Survey is it gives students a voice," Mililani High School vice principal Joy Matsukawa said.

"I understand it's a snapshot but we need to have the student voice as part of this," Nozoe said.

"I think it's a distorted snapshot," Perusso said

The first round of the Tripod Student Survey will be completed on Friday. Students will be surveyed again in the Spring semester.

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