Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Teacher Relative Marking In Schools

Machine learning has brought to my attention the horribly wrong interpretations possible due to data not being on the same scale. When information is not measured by the same stick, the result is that the bigger stick dominates the inferences you draw from the data.

In schooling, standardized testing is a method with good intentions in mind. It enforces the same standards on all the people taking the test. In the context of national education however, I think there might be something that the authorities have missed.

Not every teacher is a great one. I have been fortunate enough to have been taught by good teachers. I have also had the fate of being instructed by absolute teach-shop employees. since on a national scale we would like to measure the learning ability of a child, it would make sense to check if there is anything to be learnt at all where the child is studying.

I propose that along with the students, the teachers also take board exams and so on. Then when the students get their results, their performance is weighed in relation to how good their teacher is.

A student scoring 50/100 when his/her teacher scored 30/100 is a good student. They have learnt a lot. A student scoring 50/100 when the teacher scored 90/100 is not such a good learner.

This would be a more fair scale than every student getting the same paper irrespective of the environment they studied in.

I do realize that this could have potential disasters since the student's performance no longer depends on them only. It would put enormous pressure on the teachers as well since they would effectively keep on taking exams throughout their career.

One potential fallacy is that over time teachers might get exceedingly good at taking tests and thus fail the system altogether. They will learn the common questions and so on. Since subjects are finite in nature at the school level, this is bound to happen. It might result in the teachers getting better at their subjects over time though, I cannot predict this well enough.

To conclude, I say that on the day of the exam, let the teacher sit with the students ad face the music. Then let the students be judged relative to the teacher.