A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Grading Teachers from the Bleachers


Students are graded in numerous ways such as test performance and homework completion. When will it be time for the students to grade their teachers?

There are plenty of untrustworthy people out there in the world. It’s also true that not all people are responsible either. Can students be trusted with the responsibility to grade their instructors? In college students are asked to fill out a teacher evaluation at the end of each class.  These evaluations are used to not only rank professors, but for the university to decide if professors are effective.  Could this work in high school?

According to freshmen AJ Hatton, the only students who he thinks should have a voice are the ones with grades “above a D average.” He believes that students with extremely low grades would be biased against their teachers.

Freshmen Alejandro Alatorre believes “students can be trusted but not with too much power.”

Greenway’s own business teacher, Ms. Hernandez, said “an evaluator, having been trained, isn’t like a judge. Evaluators [not students] analyze teacher responsibilities and duties to give specific feedback.”

In response, biology teacher Mr. Feiring believes students can grade teachers only “if the conditions were standardized.”

Students must show their understanding on the subjects they’re being taught. Therefore, students must be evaluated somehow. With this in mind, would it even be fair to grade teachers in the first place?

Hatton thinks it would be fair by stating, “They grade us, so we should be able to grade them based on teaching ability.”

Like his freshman counterpart, Alatorre said it would be fair for students to grade their teachers because “it would help them be better at their job.”

In disagreement, Ms. Hernandez said teachers being graded by students “would be highly inappropriate.”

Surprisingly, Mr. Feiring believes it would be fair. Specifically, he said “yes because feedback is always helpful.”

Because of the unfamiliarity, some teachers may be opposed to idea of being graded by the people they teach.

Mr. Feiring actually believes students should be able to grade their teachers. He said “all feedback helps.”

Alatorre answered with “yes, because teachers make mistakes sometimes and students should be able to do something about it.”

Hatton said only specific students should be able to grade their students.

On the contrary, Ms. Hernandez believes it would be “inappropriate at the high school level.”

In other words, it seems like Greenway’s students would love to grade their teachers. Moreover, some teachers may actually agree with the idea as well. In the future we’ll see whether or not students will ever be able to grade their teachers.