Teachers unions across the country have been up in arms about what they call an over-reliance on student test scores in grading instructors and the publication of "value-added" data. When Rigoberto Ruelas, a teacher at Miramonte Elementary School, committed suicide after his “less effective” rating was posted online by the "Los Angeles Times," opposition to this controversial method grew.
KPCC’s AirTalk hosted a recent debate with education experts about how teachers should be evaluated. Click on the profiles below to hear reactions from L.A.-area teachers, and add your thoughts in the comment section below.
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Educators, it turns out, don’t mind doing homework. At least the ones who showed up, outside of school hours, for AirTalk’s recent discussion about grading teacher performance. The November 11 event, held in KPCC’s Crawford Family Forum, drew a packed crowd mostly composed of teachers, past and present.
In conversation with Larry Mantle, education experts Erik Hanushek and Richard Rothstein explored the pros and cons of various methods used to judge teacher performance, including the hotly debated “value-added” approach, which relies on student test scores.
When it comes to trying to improve student performance in public schools, many factors come together. One of the major issues is teacher performance and how best to judge teacher effectiveness. The “value-added” approach attempts statistically to show how an individual teacher can make a difference - positively or negatively - in how students do, regardless of class size or background.
Recent articles in the Los Angeles Times about this controversial method have sparked a nationwide debate, which has pitted President Obama’s Secretary of Education against teacher unions and many academics.
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Teacher interviews and photos by Christal Smith. Produced by Linda Othenin-Girard, Karen Fritsche & Katrina Schwartz, with help from Sharon McNary.
Site produced by Jeff Long, Jason Kandel, Mike Roe, Corey Bridwell & Eric Zassenhaus