Study: Public wants more news on teacher performance
From a new Brookings study on media coverage of education issues, which included a national survey:
Large majorities wanted more news about teacher performance (73 percent), followed by student academic performance (71 percent), school crime or violence (69 percent), school curricula (68 percent), school finances (66 percent), and school reform (66 percent). There was less interest expressed in additional news about school athletic team performance (42 percent), and scandals or undesirable activities (50 percent).
The teacher performance emphasis is noteworthy in light of recent efforts to assess the “value-added” of teachers to student achievement. The Los Angeles Times generated controversy when it published a searchable database in 2010 listing individual instructors by name and offering measures of their effectiveness in math and reading education (Felch, Song, and Smith, 2010). There was strenuous opposition from many teachers to making these measures public, and some questioned the methodology behind the assessments (Anderson, 2011). But the wide attention this story received demonstrated how much interest there is in the question of teacher performance among newspaper readers generally, and parents in particular.
(Image from shutterstock.com)