The Los Angeles Times concluded its much talked about education series on teacher performance yesterday, publishing a database that rated more than 6,000 third-through-fifth grade teachers using a "value-added" analysis of standardized test scores provided by the Los Angeles Unified School District. The controversial value-added method (VAM) looked at previous student test performance and estimated how much a teacher added to or subtracted from a student's progress. LAUSD supports the value analysis whereas teachers unions have come out against the practice. The Times study found that teachers have greater impact on the success or failures of their students than anyone had previously acknowledged, but are the VAM tests accurate? And now that teachers’ unions say they’re open to negotiation over how to be evaluated, how do teachers think they should be measured? And what does the research show?
A.J. Duffy, president, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA)
David Lauter, the Los Angeles Times’ Asst Managing Editor for California/Metro.
Linda Darling-Hammond, professor of education at Stanford University, former president of the American Educational Research Association and a member of the National Academy of Education.
Brock Cohen, English & humanities teacher at Grant High School in North Hollywood