by Bernie Goldbach
UPDATED 17 November 2021: This page remains one of the 10 most-visited pages of Bernie Goldbach's InsideView blog. And the RateMyTeachers website keeps ticking over, 15 years from its inception. The idea of rating teachers percolates up during meet-ups with educators in Ireland.
True Ratings Offer Text Comments
More than 15 years have elapsed since RateMyTeachers was in full flow. The idea of rating teachers attracts dozens of people every day, searching for another way to assess the value of teaching and learning in Ireland. Raw league tables aren't useful at truly gaining insights about the teaching profession.
Screenshot from Typeform Survey
As part of a programmatic reviews of third level curricula, I help survey 100 graduates every year. Some of those graduates were students on the Tipperary Institute campus when this original blog post was written during a social media tutorial session. In 2021, some of the anonymous feedback I received from former students made me feel blessed. Although we didn't intend for graduates to personally cite members of the staff in their surveys, several former students opted to offer positive comments about people like Mike Kiely, lecturers who taught them programming fundamentals, and myself.
Those straightforward long text comments are more insightful than a league table.
NOW THAT THE Irish Supreme Court has prohibited the publication of primary school inspectors' reports, the time is ripe for Rate My Teachers to step up and publish summaries of its own. For starters, let's tell all Irishblogs the names of the schools that blacklist the site since they are possibly the ones with the most to fear from information transparency. Then let's see the ones at the top of the list--those schools with the most cross-talk about quality of education.
Ireland has issues with comparative analysis with nearly every facet of life. Yet those comparisons tell readers key data related to value-for-money and competitiveness. Without information gleaned from reports about schools, parents have little leading information when selecting a school. Fionnuala Kilfeather of the National Parents' Council believes there are forces at work that "copper-fastened the lack of right to any official source of information whatsoever on the work of schools". At the moment, the Republic of Ireland invokes institutional measures that effectively cloak the actual workings of the educational system. This practise ensures important government programmes never feel the heat of scrutiny from the tax-paying public. It is no wonder that almost half of the primary schools visited by inspection teams operate from building which are too small or dilapidated. The Irish government has decided that its citizens do not have a need to know about these failings.
Seán Flynn -- "Minister may act after ruling on schools" on the front page of The Irish Times, May 31, 2005.
Damien Mulley -- "Teachers - Make up your mind. Privacy or not."
Previously on IrishEyes -- "Rate Me Teachers" (a page that is visited once every waking hour on weekdays).
Rate-My-Teachers "Wall of Shame" (schools blocking students from seeing or using the website):
- Gurteen Vocational School, Ballymote
- St Andrew's College, Blackrock
- Salesian College, Celbridge
- Clifden Community School
- Drogheda Grammar School
- Pobal Scoil Neasain D13
- Castleknock College D15
- Ballyroan BNS D16
- St Laurence College Dublin
- Oold Bawn Community School D24
- St Mark's Community School D24
- Manor House School D5
- Alexandra College D6
- Gonzago College D6
- Rathgar NS Mixed D6
- Sandford Park School D6
- Dunshaughlin Community College
- St Flannan's College, Ennis
- Glanmare Community College
- Gorey Community School
- Colasite Eoin Hacketstown
- Scoil Mhuire Kanturk
- Kilkenny College
- St Joseph of Cluny, Killiney
- Carrick-on-Shannon Community School, Leitrim
- St Columbas College, Lifford
- St Macartan's College, Monaghan
- Newbridge College
- Convent of Mercy, Roscommon
- St Finian's, Swords
- CBS Tramore
- Sacred Heart School, Westport
[Editor's Note: RateMyTeachers was introduced to the Writing Skills module in Tipperary Institute during the fall semester of 2004. For more than 15 years, traffic to this page has been analysed as part of a third level Web Analytics module. If you have read this far, you've helped creative media students analyse how people interact with web content.]