Expertise with a purpose, love for others (without condition), and providing opportunities for young people to reach their potential is the foundation of everything we do. Whether we admit it or not; this is also why we choose a path in education.
It is easy to be distracted and moved by the jargon of the day: school choice, pay for performance, and the nod toward both the rationale and the practical. The truth is: we are lost. Teaching, and the evaluation of teaching and learning, are art forms.
If we cared about evaluation, we would assess students on their own terms. We do not. If we cared about nurturing the profession and lifting colleagues, we would rely on mentoring and actual human contact with a number of evaluators. We do not. There are a number of reasons for this, mostly connected to spending. We sacrifice long-term and systemic resolve for short term rebates.
The most significant work achieved by students, and teachers alike, is worthy of praise and significant evaluation; more akin to a studio than a scanning machine.
Ultimately, appraisal of educational experiences that closely resemble the essential nature: multi-sensory, complex, and highly cognitive, increases our opportunities to inspire students and teachers to greater heights. Our increasing reliance on measurement alone is flawed as it does not reveal the qualities inherent in experience. We need to rethink the structures we now have in place that only glean cursory information.