The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

Mental health awareness should be prioritized in all schools
Mental health awareness should be prioritized in all schools
Sally Martinez, J1 Reporter • April 22, 2024

Mental health takes a toll on students all over the world. It disrupts how they learn and retain that information. So, why is it not a big deal when schools see an increase in lower grades and moody students?...

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Ryan Zuniga, Dispatch Reporter • April 19, 2024

Along the heavily populated hallway is the second mural within the fine arts wing. Over spring break a local graffiti group, Color Cartel, led and established by artist Andrew Horner, created the...

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Is teacher pay based on SLO scores?

The+SLO+often+ends+up+being+a+waste+of+time+in+many+classes+and+is+not+guaranteed+to+be+accurate.
Hannah Salz
The SLO often ends up being a waste of time in many classes and is not guaranteed to be accurate.

The last thing a teacher should tell you is to try to do badly on a test. However, the SLO (Student Learning Objectives) is not a usual test students take. This district-required test is used to measure student growth and the effectiveness of the teacher. All teachers have to take this test, and it helps determine whether or not the teacher gets extra benefits/pay. 

The SLO often ends up being a waste of time in many classes and is not guaranteed to be accurate. Students take it at the beginning and later in the year, wasting multiple class periods and FIT sessions to make sure all students get it done.

If you think about it, a test isn’t the best way to help measure a teacher’s effectiveness. There are many variables that can alter the student’s test scores, including test anxiety and the teacher’s recommendation for students to not do well so they can improve.

One reason the SLO should be replaced is a lack of motivation for the students to do their best. Teachers don’t put the SLO into the grade book, making it pointless for students to try. Many students also suffer from test anxiety, and the SLO is just another thing for them to be nervous about when they have real tests to worry about. 

Another reason the SLO isn’t accurate is that many teachers also have their own style of teaching, and the pre-written test often doesn’t align with their style. Some teachers try to write their own tests, but it takes time to get approval.

This test is also a waste of important time. I experienced this first hand last year, when my teacher’s schedule was thrown off because of the freeze that stopped school. In my math class we had to skip multiple lessons because of this, and the SLO took up a valuable class period to catch up from this. We ended up having to take our Algebra 1 EOC without knowing some of the material. 

It is important to make sure that our teachers are effective and teach students what they need to know, but the SLO is not the best way to measure this effectiveness. Other strategies, including class walkthroughs, can give the district a more accurate measure of the teacher. 

One way teachers can be measured without the SLO is to take their students’ final average grade for the year or semester. This would include homework, tests, exams, quizzes, and assignments throughout the year and average them all together to give a more accurate overall grade of each student.

These are just some of the reasons that the SLO is not the best way for teacher’s to be measured, and should be changed. An extra test puts strain on both teachers and students, and takes up time that could be used for learning and student growth.

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