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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

LA district releases value-added scores for schools



Los Angeles school district officials aren't waiting for negotiations with the teachers' union to release value-added scores.

But the scores they unveiled this week may not overly rile teachers and critics of value-added methods, which use standardized test scores to predict student growth. The reason? These scores are for entire schools, not individual teachers.

"Some critics say the value-added approach is too volatile to be used for teacher evaluations," writes the LA Times, which set off a firestorm by commissioning its own analysis and releasing teachers' scores.  "But most experts say it is more accurate for campuses because it is based on the performance of hundreds, if not thousands, of pupils."

That's the approach Colorado has taken, using such scores to flag potential problems in schools, rather than as part of a teacher's final evaluation score.

But Los Angeles officials, as well as those in Hillsborough and Florida's Department of Education, say they can also design a value-added system that rates individual teachers without wrongly labeling them. The proof -- in the first round of teacher scores, as required under Senate Bill 736 -- comes this September.

[Last modified: Friday, April 15, 2011 4:11pm]


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