Kindergartners in Georgia are being groomed to become tyrannical little King Joffreys, wielding unprecedented power over their teachers' lives, according to The Hechinger Report. As part of a new pilot program, feedback from five-year-olds' surveys about their instructors will be used to determine whether teachers retain their jobs or receive raises.
Under the program, adults will guide kids (because the little HBIC's can't even read yet) through a questionnaire featuring statements such as "My teacher knows a lot about what he or she teaches," and "My teacher gives me help when I need it."
The kids will be asked to circle a smiley face, a neutral face (like kids even know what a neutral face means), or a frowny face to answer the questions. Many will probably disregard these instructions and just draw all over all the faces in silent protest against this absurd proposal and also because drawing is fun.
The state has yet to determine how much weight students' responses will carry in terms of teacher evaluations; they will, obviously, be considered in conjunction with other factors.
To be clear, kindergarteners have not been singled out to give feedback because they are baby geniuses (as we know from watching Baby Geniuses, kids are no longer geniuses by the time they learn to talk, anyway); the surveys will be administered to all students in grades K-12.
Opponents of the plan point out that kids are immature assholes and worry that students' answers could be biased.
(Any Georgia teachers worried about how they'll fare should know this: a box of Munchkins donuts offered, without comment, the day of evaluations goes a long toward healing old wounds.)
Those in favor argue that the questions are designed to focus on the quantifiable day-to-day operations of a classroom (whether teachers review material, how often students are disciplined), rather than the nebulous area of popularity (whether a teacher is awesome).
The Hechinger Report quotes Ryan Balch, a Vanderbilt University doctoral student who has designed and administered student surveys throughout the state, as saying he "[doesn't] think it's feasible" to give such questionnaires to students before they reach the third grade.
Rob Ramsdell, the director of a company that creates student surveys, says students of any age should be able to give feedback, but then, he would, wouldn't he? :) :| :(
In any case, pretty soon, kindergarteners' immaturity won't even be an issue, as CBS reports more parents are delaying enrolling their kids in school as long as possible to give them an edge over their actual kindergarten-aged (and –sized) peers.
A five year old kindergartner probably shouldn't decide whether a teacher stays or gets fired, but a fifteen year old kindergartener has seen some things and done some things and could probably bring an interesting perspective to the conversation.