The Drudge Report suffers no Leftist fools, and has a link to a Campus Reform knee-slapper that advocates rigging the academic board by doing away with student evaluations because white male professors get higher ratings than female or minority counterparts.
No, I do believe they do get higher evaluations, and for good reason: white men have a longer history of teaching; so it should be no surprise that this demographic have it mastered.
So the goal now is to set those ratings as the Gold Standard, and work toward other demographics reaching those levels.
Otherwise, you are going to screw over students with your social engineering with bad habits.
I have been teaching for almost twenty years, and my student evaluations were always way above the provincial average.
That is a tiny portion of the comments I have received over the years. I have always excelled even though I am a female of Eastern European heritage. Why should I be penalized by removing an important component of determining how good is a professor just because the under-performers don’t like their own results?
And before anyone prone to sophistry and temper tantrums goes on about students having prejudices, my students didn’t exactly take to me the first couple of weeks. I am not some appeasing servant. I am fiery, eccentric, hard to read, demanding, unpredictable, lippy, and also suffer no fools.
Yet my students learned, warmed up to me, and we both came out better people than we were at the start of the course.
I am learning a lot through Harvard’s course for teaching professionals, and every week excites me, and I cannot wait to learn (I am working on this week’s assignments as we speak) because I care about being the very best teacher Alexandra Kitty can possibly be.
That is the reason my evaluation scores were in the supper nineties every semester I taught.
I am the shepherd of a flock. My divine duty is to guide this flock from the side of ignorance to the side of mastery. I know every student by name, advocate for them, cheer them when they triumph, and work with them when they begin to flounder.
I am there for them when they are having an academic meltdown. When promotions meetings take place, I fight for every one.
That’s my job, and I am grateful to do so.
And my dedication is reflected in those evaluations.
So if your evaluations suck, maybe you should do what you expect of your students: hunker down, get feedback, modify your strategies, take courses to improve your technique, and go back in the battlefield again.
I am taking a very pricey course that is very involved, and my evaluations are untouchable.
Yet I still do it, and happily so. I keep myself up to code.
And by the international make-up of the other educators taking the course, these are also people who have taken time out of their schedule to do it.
So we shouldn’t get rid of a valuable tool just because we don’t like the reading.
We have identified a disparity, and the riddle to solve is how do we work toward making those kind of disparities vanish.
The hiding-under-the-bed technique isn’t going to help: it will merely alienate students, and that’s not the point of academia.
It is to engage and connect, and that means facing inconvenient truths to create a more thriving reality…