Larry Ferlazzo reports on an interesting exchange about student ratings of teachers. Amanda Ripley, who is a cheerleader for corporate reform, loves the idea of trusting students to tell us which teachers are great and which stink.

Felix Salmon points out where she is wrong.

The Gates Foundation loves the idea of student surveys, of course, and several districts are already using them.

I personally have a lot of trouble with the idea of asking students to rate their teachers. It’s bad enough that teachers’ careers now hinge on their students’ test scores, but now they will be asked to win popularity contests. I don’t see this as a way to improve teaching but as a way to compel teachers to pander to students, to assign less homework, to inflate grades, and to seek student approval.

Why are so many people messing up teachers’ ability to teach?