06 January 2016

A Lot Of Good It Did...

Most of us, if we're working for anyone (or any entity) besides ourselves, are evaluated on our performance.  We're rated on a number of factors, some of which vary from job to job.  There are, however, other factors that seem to be more or less universal in personnel evaluations, such as knowledge, efficiency, communications skills and professionalism.

Another such trait is "effectiveness".  Some have tried to measure it, mainly without success.  For example, since No Child Left Behind began in the early "aughts", students' test scores have been used to determine which teachers are effective.  But things aren't that simple:  a bad teacher almost certainly won't get good results, but sometimes a very good teacher can't overcome other things in a child's life that might impair his or her performance.  On the other hand,  in some occupations, effectiveness is easy to see:  folks like salespeople bring in money, mechanics and plumbers fix things that stay fixed and others meet, or help to meet goals. 

I think that effectiveness is easier to see in things:  Effective things do, well, what they're designed to do.  A derailleur that gives quick and precise shifts is effective; so is a brake that stops quickly or gradually, as needed, with a minimum of fuss.

It's also easy to see ineffectiveness, as I saw while riding across the RFK Memorial Bridge today:

Graffiti is a crime?  Someone obviously didn't get the message.

1 comment:

  1. Justine,

    I read the above with it's references to teacher effectiveness and student test scores with great interest. I am an American ex-pat who has taught in the Finnish school system for 36 years now, and at many levels. I hear that the Finnish schools are of great interest to Americans these days. I think we might have much talk about, but not on this blog. Is it possible, and would you be interested in, a personal corresponence? How could this be set up?