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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

News media shouldn't publish teacher names with quality ratings, think tank says



Newspapers should not publicly release the names of teachers alongside quality ratings determined by value added estimates or similar measures, an influential think tank says in a new issue brief. The Center for American Progress - which supports using value-added scores - points to recent examples, like the high-profile case in Los Angeles, to argue that such disclosures will hurt education reform:

The theory of public service invoked in Los Angeles supposes that parents will leverage the newspaper’s website to exert pressure on school officials to make decisions differently than they otherwise would have. Some parents, for example, may request that principals move children from the classrooms of teachers with low value-added estimates to the classrooms of teachers with high value-added estimates, or that additional support staff or other resources be applied in the classrooms of teachers with low value-added estimates.

Official resistance to such pressure will be difficult in the absence of a defensible performance- evaluation system. Yet the scantest evidence of decisions based on individual value-added estimates will almost certainly undercut teachers’ willingness to engage constructively in the implementation and refinement of new performance-evaluation systems.

We're not sure where all this is headed in Florida. Value-added measures were used in Hillsborough last year and will be used across the state this year. State law says teacher evaluations aren't public record until the end of the school year after the year in which they were issued. But we're not sure if that exemption applies to the value-added calculations.

In any event, does anyone see any merit in publishing names and ratings?

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 10:41am]


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