As per the main article subject line, here's my take on it. A teachers appraisal should be treated like any other private or public employee. The general public in my mind fit into two different categories (but one person can be in both categories):
1) A customer (consumer of goods). By this, I mean they have a student in the district being taught.
2) A share holder. By this, I mean the people paying the taxes to fund the school.
How many of those private companies share their detailed employee appraisals? None that I know of. The customers and share holders do expect that management will have access to those and work with the employees based on them to improve the services being provided, but they aren't demanding to see them. Teachers should be the same way. There are a lot of employees salaries I pay in the private industry that I really have no choice in paying (gas, internet, phone to name a few), but I'm not demanding to see each employee appraisal.
With that said, my next issue is people that are teacher / union bashing. I'm not a teacher and never have been. My mother was a teacher and my wife is a teacher, so I have a really good understanding of what's going on. On top of that, it seems every one of my friends had to go out and marry a teacher. The short answer is, my wife's union has saved her a few times and I would not call it a completely horrible union, while one of my friends wife's union is one I agree with people on is horrible. Here are a few thoughts on each:
My wifes school just went through negotiations. There were no pay increases for 3 years (actually a 3% pay decrease for each of those years). During those negotiations, one of the three elected school board officials that were on the school side was fighting for a steep (about 50%) pay cut because he didn't feel that a teacher should be making much more than someone doing childcare. Without the union there, it probably would have passed and it would have came down to a teacher leaving or taking the cut. My wife has gotten amazing appraisals every year, she would have been in a nursing program and guess how many great kids would have been in the school district left. They didn't care, like a lot of private managers, the $ amount was more than the quality. On top of all that, my wife's health insurance costs more than mine does in the private sector; her copay is now up to $35 for most things non surgical; she doesn't pay social security, but she pays pretty close to what I pay into the program; she has no 401k options; she's required to go back and get college credit on a schedule, but the school pays none of that. Overall, my feeling of her union is that it is pretty on par with what's going on in the private sector. Also, she does have tenure. It wasn't automatic. It was basically she had to teach there 5 years, then she had to apply (not automatic). The year that she applied in she is observed and appraised by all the principals multiple times a month, her lessons plans are inspected weekly, and the final word for tenure comes down at the end of the year. She doesn't get it, then she has to apply again the next year. Needless to say, she got it with amazing reviews from all the administration (as high as they were allowed, since the superintendent stipulated that no reviews are allowed a perfect score).
Now the bad side of the equation, my friends wife. She actually started complaining that at the same year negotiations for her school district, that they were only getting a 2% raise the next two years, that she had to pay a $5 copay now, and that she has to start paying into her pension retirement (schools not going to pay it all anymore). That my friends, is a union not keeping up with the private industry. Oh ya, she also got automatic tenure after three years without doing anything. The only way to fire her now is to have the union do it basically.