Former educator says administrators alone can't ensure education is properly handled

A former high school principal said Monday that school administrators alone can't ensure that education is being properly handled and called for a more comprehensive approach when it comes to the teacher evaluation process.

Dr. Richard Giordano, who worked more than 25 years in public education, argues that school administrators don’t actually know whether teachers are providing students with a quality education because the current evaluations are being done by principals who lack the necessary expertise.

“There really is not an effective, valid, over time means of establishing whether or not good education is taking place in the classroom from the standpoint of both the content being taught, which cannot be evaluated by principals … or the strategies that are being employed for the teaching process itself,” Giordano told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti on “Rising.”

Giordano said that the whole structure of principalship should be “rearranged,” arguing that such an extensive evaluation cannot be effectively executed by one person.

“It’s a bridge too far, it’s a job too big, it cannot be done by one person, especially in the area of instructional leadership, which is the biggest job the principal has,” he said.

The former educator thinks that the teacher evaluation process should instead be “farmed out” to various experts in the community like university instructors and business leaders.

“Just think for a minute: in French, in Spanish, in Latin, in biology, in Quantum physics, in a whole variety of subjects those areas need to be evaluated by and provided by people who have expertise in those areas,” Giordano told Hill.TV.

Giordano is currently on tour promoting his new book, “Ineptitude, Conformity, and Obfuscation: The Fraud of Teacher Evaluation in the Public Schools,” where he argues that teacher evaluations are a “fraud” and offers ways to fix the process.

His comments come amid a growing movement among teachers in cities across America.

Last week, thousands of Virginia teachers rallied at the state capitol in Richmond, calling for more education spending and better pay.

Teachers in Denver, meanwhile, are preparing to strike for the first time in 25 years after negotiations broke down with school officials over salary. 

The Denver Classroom Teachers Association rejected the latest offer from their district on Friday after the two sides were more than $8 million apart in negotiations, according to Chalkbeat.

–Tess Bonn