Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Editorial writers want to see Pastorek's evaluation

The Advocate is not happy. Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek was given a favorable evaluation by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (making him eligible for the raise that he turned down), but the board will not make that evaluation public.

Says the Gray Lady of Baton Rouge, "While keeping Pastorek’s evaluation secret might be within the law, we don’t believe it’s good public policy."

That policy exists not just for Pastorek's benefit, however, but to protect all public employees. That includes teachers and school support staff, whose personnel files and evaluations are off limits to the press and public.

The Advocate has a point in saying that "Pastorek isn’t just any employee." He is the head of the whole shebang, with the salary and perks to prove it.

But substitute the name of your favorite teacher for Pastorek's in this sentence: "Pastorek works for the state’s taxpayers and is paid by them, but they can’t see the formal evaluation of how Pastorek is doing his job."

Remember the old saw about babies and bathwater. There are those who would love to gain access to teacher files. We need to be careful what we wish for, and ever vigilant for the unintended consequences of "reform."

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