[Offtopic] Re: RateMyTeachers.com

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Fri Jun 16 01:28:17 EST 2006

Hi Kathy, Chris, Nick, Teresa, Grant and all ..

Yes, the new RateMyTeachers.com website for Australian schools
does raise quite a few issues for everyone connected with education.

No doubt, as in America, it will become a popular education website.

And with close examination, imho, it may appear that without specific
legislation not many could do much about the site anyway. Maybe the
only real option will be to make the best of an inevitable situation?

----- Original Message -----  

From: "Kathy Skidmore" <skidmore.kathy.l at edumail.vic.gov.au>
To: "VCE English Teachers' Mailing List" <english at edulists.com.au>
Sent: Thursday, June 15, 2006 8:33 AM
Subject: Re: [English] RateMyTeachers.com

> My school is currently doing something similar, but internally. You'd
> probably find 100 different attitudes towards it amongst the 100 staff.
> Some people find it threatening, some welcome it, some dismiss it out
> of hand.
> Most kids are honest, some responses have to be disregarded. I think the
> jury's still out on the long-term value of the programme, though the
> short-term outcomes have been interesting.
> The main issue as I see it is the quality and relevance of the items on
> the survey itself. The wording is extremely important e.g. What kids
> see as "fun" or "relevant" can differ greatly from teacher perceptions.
> Also, what is it we want or need as feedback?? What are the students'
> goals in providing feedback??
> It has certainly provided a robust discussion topic.
----- Original Message (see oz-teachers archives)

From: "Chris Betcher" <chris at betcher.org>
To: <oz-teachers at cobia.ed.qut.edu.au>
Sent: Thursday, June 15, 2006 7:05 AM
Subject: Re: RateMyTeachers.com

> Wow, very interesting stuff.  Thanks for the heads-up Stephen..  I think
> this site is something that all teachers should be aware of, and if you
> haven't looked at it, perhaps you should take a moment to do so.
> All the Australian schools I looked at are as-yet unrated, presumably
> because it's still a very new service in Australia, but if you want to
> see how it works once it's populated with some data go to the homepage
> at http://www.ratemyteachers.com/ and have a look at some US or Canadian
> schools...
> My Canadian exchange school is listed, the entire staff list is
> available, and nearly all teachers on our staff have student-entered
> comments and ratings against their name.  Some, actually most, comments
> are positive, but there are still many that come across as being a
> little bit too negative for my liking.
> I'm all for open and transparent systems but I'm not sure I think this
> is a good idea.  Despite the claim that it is a moderated system to
> filter out inappropriate messages, I find many of the comments about
> teachers get quite personal at times...    It also raises a bunch of
> ethical and moral issues... Is this something that savvy employers
> would look at before hiring a teacher?  Can a teacher even be assured
> of getting a fair rating?  Is this a place where students can "take it
> out" on teachers they didn't like?  What other professions have a
> publicly-available rating system based on the opinions of people under
> the age of 18?  Just a thought...
> For those who rate well, it's a nice compliment I guess, but for those
> that don't it could be quite humiliating, and unfortunately it is a
> very public way to go about it.  I think it's wonderful that great
> teachers get recognised for what they do.  But I think there are
> probably better ways to highlight those teachers who perhaps aren't so
> highly rated... I'm sure we all know teachers who could be better at
> what they do, but is this is best way to go about it?
> Perhaps we need a www.RateMyStudents.com website for some of the
> students we teach?  I wonder how that would go down, especially with
> their parents.. maybe we should have a RateTheParentsOfTheKidsITeach.com
> site? It would get quite busy after parent-teacher interviews I'm sure!
> Chris
> On 15/6/06 3:02 AM, <stephen at melbpc.org.au> wrote:
>> Hmm .. what do people think?
>> --
>> Friday June 02, 2006 10:16 am
>> "RateMyTeachers.com, North America‚s most popular education website,
>> launches in Australia and New Zealand today."
>> http://au.ratemyteachers.com/
>> "RateMyTeachers.com has established itself in classrooms across North
>> America as a useful resource for students, teachers, and parents alike.
>> Today marks the official launch of RateMyTeachers in the Australia and
>> New Zealand. The site is an innovative idea, allowing students to share
>> opinions and grade their teachers.
>> RateMyTeachers.com currently boasts 9.3 million teacher ratings, over 
>> million teachers, and is currently in use at more than 51,000 middle
>> schools and high schools across the United States and Canada. The site
>> has been in operation since August 2001 and has quickly spread across
>> North America through word of mouth. Each year, more than three million
>> students log in to RateMyTeachers to grade and review their teachers.
>> Joel Gordon, an English teacher at Amsterdam High School, New York
>> believes RateMyTeachers "enfranchises our kids, gives voice to their 
>> stifled expressions in a subject area in which they have loads of
>> experience and are eminently qualified to speak. These statistics are
>> timely, relevant and 99% honest.‰
>> With the assistance of over 5000 student administrators, RateMyTeachers
>> reviews every teacher rating before it is posted to the website. Any
>> malicious or vulgar postings are removed. If a teacher is at odds with
>> any rating, that person can easily flag the rating and comment for a
>> second review. The majority of ratings are positive, with students
>> celebrating their teachers.
>> Site co-founder Michael Hussey explains the goal of the site. "Students
>> have a keen interest in rating their teachers‚ performance in the
>> classroom. The growth of the site in the US and Canada is a testament 
>> students desires to take an active role in improving the quality of 
>> education. We are encouraging students to really own their educations; 
>> demand the best of themselves and their educators."
>> Websites: 
>> http://au.ratemyteachers.com
>> http://ratemyteachers.co.nz
>> © 2006 RateMyTeachers.com"
>> --
>> Ta Cameron ..
>> Stephen Loosley
>> Victoria, Australia

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