Teachers Can Be Fired! The Quest for Quality : a Handbook for Practitioners in Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Schools and Community Colleges

Teachers Can Be Fired! The Quest for Quality : a Handbook for Practitioners in Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Schools and Community Colleges

Teachers Can Be Fired! The Quest for Quality : a Handbook for Practitioners in Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Schools and Community Colleges

Teachers Can Be Fired! The Quest for Quality : a Handbook for Practitioners in Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Schools and Community Colleges

Synopsis

What if excellent teaching were guaranteed in every classroom? Teachers Can Be Fired! is an essential guide for anyone who is serious about making that possibility a reality. Dr. Andrews explains how the Total Quality Management movement, so successful in business and industry, can be applied to the most important element in the schools--teachers. He argues persuasively for heavy reliance on supervisory/administrative evaluation practices as the most legally defensible and helpful system.

Excerpt

The Total Quality Management (TQM) movement in business and industry has moved rapidly into the American educational system. But, for the most part, it has stopped at the classroom door. Some of the pioneers in introducing more effective management to the schools even proclaim proudly that they have no intention of interfering with what goes on in the classroom.

Yet all of a school’s non-instructional activities exist purely in order to support instruction. If the quest for quality makes sense in every other productive activity, can there be any reason why it would not be appropriate in the arena of instruction?

No car manufacturer would apply TQM principles to the car body, the tires, and the uphostery, and overlook the quality workmanship that goes into the engine. A car with an unreliable engine is a bad car, because the customer says it is a bad car. Similarly, the education system’s student-customers and taxpayer-customers will not recognize a quality educational product if the system’s support services are made more efficient while what goes on in the classroom is left alone to muddle along.

Unless we can guarantee quality teaching in every classroom, the various improvements in registration procedures, mail distribution, physical maintenance, payroll, and printing services will pale into insignificance. Yet, as Seymour (1991) found in his survey of the leading “pioneering” colleges, this is precisely what has been happening in most cases.

The argument of this book is that the quality of teaching can be improved by a rational system of faculty evaluation. I understand ‘Quality Faculty Evaluation’ as the totality of practices which lead to those predetermined instructional goals jointly agreed to by faculty, administrators, and board members. Quality faculty evaluation starts from a clear understanding of what the outcomes of evaluation should be, and of issues and procedures which produce those outcomes.

The evaluation of teachers should recognize superior teaching performance, reward it, and help to motivate it. Where teaching is inadequate, evaluation should identify the weaknesses and indicate the steps to be taken to correct them. In the case of the small minority . . .

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