Evaluation setbackA bill that was to introduce a nationwide teacher evaluation system has failed to pass in the National Assembly.
Lawmakers on the committee on education deliberated on the proposed evaluation system, but they could not reach an agreement. Despite broad support for the proposed legislation, lawmakers’ efforts to establish the teacher evaluation system were especially disappointing.
We suspect that lawmakers did a poor job of carrying out the deliberations on the bill and thrashing out an agreement on the subject.
They turned their backs on their duty while they were busy ingratiating themselves with the Korean Teachers and Education Workers’ Union, which is opposed to the evaluation system.
Actually, the ultimate goal of the teacher evaluation system is to make educators more competitive. Through the process of evaluating teachers, we can dismiss teachers unqualified for the job.
When such a system was proposed four years ago during the Roh Moo-hyun administration, it became a controversial issue but it did not take off because the National Assembly did not pass the bill.
Even though some schools have started to pilot the system to provide working models for teacher evaluation, we have to invest more time and effort in bringing the system into all Korean schools.
Blame for the delays in enacting the law falls squarely on the Korean government and the National Assembly. They just emphasized currying favor with the members of the teachers’ union.
Establishing teacher evaluation systems is a worldwide trend. Such systems for grading the performance of teachers are in place in the United States and Japan. Even China, a socialist state, enforces a teacher evaluation system.
In China, for example, the annual salary of teachers is determined by how they measure up.
Neighboring Japan also has a strict system. Japanese teachers who receive a low evaluation score have to complete a one-year intensive training program.
We should no longer put off establishing a teacher evaluation system, which would guarantee the quality of our teachers.
We urge the government and the incoming National Assembly to try their best to pass the bill and put the system in place in all schools.