Wyoming legislature may put cameras in classrooms for evaluations

Security camera

The Wyoming legislature is suggesting putting cameras in classrooms. Image: Flickr / bionicteaching / CC-BY-SA

In Wyoming, teachers may soon be teaching to a camera as well as a classroom. The Wyoming legislature may put cameras in classrooms as part of a pilot program. The legislature has suggested this as a way to evaluate teachers, though security is also a consideration.

Wyoming legislature may put cameras in classroom

The Wyoming legislature is considering Senate File 51. This bill would reform how Wyoming teachers are hired, evaluated and tenured. The goal would be to make it easier to fire bad teachers and easier to give raises to good teachers. Wyoming law requires that all teachers are evaluated each year. How to evaluate every teacher every year has presented a difficult challenge because it requires more time, manpower and funding then many schools have.

How Wyoming cameras in classrooms would work

The first part of the Wyoming legislature program to put cameras in classrooms would be a “pilot” program. The pilot program would put cameras in 20 to 50 classrooms. The cameras would record video and audio, and the video would be used to evaluate the teacher’s performance. The teacher’s superiors would watch selected portions of the video. Nobody would be hired to individually watch the video feeds all day every day, but it would all be required.

Arguments for and against Wyoming cameras in classrooms

The news that the Wyoming legislature may put cameras in classrooms has brought lots of heated arguments on both sides. Supporters believe that the cameras would not only improve teaching performance but provide an element of security to classrooms. Kathryn Valido of the Wyoming Education Association has said that she believes cameras in every classroom may not be a wise use of state money. The bill also raises the question of whether cameras in classrooms violate students’ privacy, or if being in a public school classroom means there is no expectation of privacy.

Sources

Powell Tribune
Billings Gazette

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