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Union Blasts LA Times Teacher Report Cards

First Posted: 10/30/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 06:30 PM ET

La Times Teacher Report Card

A controversial report by the LA Times using a "value added analysis" to rate some 6,000 LAUSD elementary school teachers has drawn harsh criticism from the teachers union.

The Times explains it's methodology:

About 6,000 Los Angeles elementary school teachers and 470 elementary schools are included in The Times' database of "value-added" ratings.

Third-, fourth- and fifth-grade teachers who taught at least 60 students from the 2002-03 through 2008-09 academic years were evaluated in the Times analysis. Most of Los Angeles Unified School District's elementary schools are included. Test scores for charter schools that do not report directly to the district were not available.

A teacher's value-added rating is based on his or her students' progress on the California Standards Tests for English and math. The difference between a student's expected growth and actual performance is the "value" a teacher added or subtracted during the year. A school's value-added rating is based on the performance of all students tested there during that period.

Click here to see the LA Times teacher ratings.

The United Teachers of Los Angeles was quick to blast the Times for their report, according to SCPR:

Unfair, said a statement released by the United Teachers of Los Angeles today. "It is the height of journalistic irresponsibility to make public these deeply flawed judgments about a teachers effectiveness,'' it said.

"The database will cause chaos at school sites, as parents scramble to get their children into classes taught by teachers labeled as `effective' by a newspaper -- not by education professionals,'' UTLA said, emphasizing the word "newspaper'' in italics. The union said the result is a public, incomplete and
inaccurate picture of a teacher's effectiveness.

The LA Weekly reports that the teachers union has scheduled a demonstration outside of the LA Times for September 15.

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Filed by Billy Silverman  |