A new program in Los Angeles rates teachers based on the test scores of their students. Though many factors are considered in assessing student performance, the success of students on aptitude tests will reflect directly on their teachers in the new project.
This system has shed some new light on the progression and effectiveness of L.A.'s teachers, the school board says. For example, teacher quality, they found, is not directly related to their level of education. After implementing the program, test scores in different classrooms varied wildly, even in the same school.
As CBS News reports, however, many in the teachers union disagree with the program, arguing that it takes more than test scores to evaluate the effectiveness of a teacher. (The new film Waiting For Superman, from the director of An Inconvenient Truth, argues that teachers unions are part of the problem in preventing the removal of bad teachers and the promotion of good teachers.)
Nevertheless, Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines wants the "value added" method to account for 30% of all teacher evaluations, a move that would have to pass teachers union muster.