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Will HISD STUDENTS GRADE THEIR TEACHERS?

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

On the first day of summer vacation outside the pool at Macgregor park Peck Elementary student Christian Hill was asked if he'd like the chance to give his teacher a report card.

"That is a very good idea," said Hill.

A report card for Houston ISD teachers with the students handing out the grades.

Turner Middle school student Hadreen Williams likes the idea of a role reversal.

"I would speak my mind towards what I think about the teacher," said Williams.

Hadreen also concedes a downside.

"Some of the kids at my school don't care about school, so maybe they wouldn't take it seriously and make a joke out of it," said Williams.

Farfetched? Not according to Houston Federation of Teachers president Gayle Fallon who says a survey sent by the district to HISD instructors for consideration incorporates student opinion of a teacher's performance as a key component in the overall evaluation process.

"There are some very effective teachers who are not always the most popular teachers in the schools. Those student surveys will amount to very little more than a popularity contest," said Fallon.

According to the HISD document sent to teachers, student opinion of their performance could amount to between 20 and 30 percent of their professional evaluation if the proposal became policy.

"What are you going to do with a class of middle school students of freshman who decide they are just going to be vindictive?," asked Fallon.

HISD spokesman Jason Spencer says student evaluation of teachers has not yet become district policy and hasn't yet been recommended by staff to the district's board.

Bob Sanborn of advocacy group Children at Risk says maybe it should be.

"I think its a valuable piece of data to use to look at how our teachers are doing," said Sanborn who advises an incremental approach, with limited weight given to the opinion of children.

"You have to make sure you are not getting rid of those teachers that are hard nosed about learning, but you are not necessarily popular with the kids," said Sanborn.

But back at Macgregor Park Christian Hill sees only the positive in teacher report cards.

"When you tell your teacher they did a good job it makes them kind of happy and makes them not give up on teaching us and stuff," said Christian.

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