In a controversial move, the New York City Department of Education recently released information concerning individual teachers in the district and their ratings, based on a value-added analysis. This analysis was used to determine how effective each teacher is at helping students improve on standardized tests. More than 12,000 teachers’ ratings were released and of the teachers taught either English or math for students between fourth and eight grade.
Some people are quite upset by this release of data. The United Federation of Teachers has started an advertising campaign and is placing ads in newspapers across New York City. The ads state “This is No Way to Rate a Teacher!” and show a complicated math formula that is supposedly used to rate the teachers. The ads also feature a letter from the organization’s president, Michael Mulgrew, in which the president outlines all of the reasons why the data is faulty and should not be relied on.
Some of the reasons that this data could be misleading is that it is based on a small number of teachers and it was not controlled for demographic factors. This could result in a large margin of error when the findings are applied to teachers across the board.
The United Federation of Teachers are not the only ones who are standing up against this public rating of teachers. The Center for American Progress recently released a report that showed by publicly connecting teachers to the performance of their students, schools were actually making it harder for themselves to create and implement an evaluation system that does work.
“While we support next-generation evaluation systems that include student achievement as a component, we believe the public release of value-added data on individual teachers is irresponsible,” said Cynthia Brown, vice president of the Center for American Progress. “In this case, less disclosure is more reform.”
Via The Huffington Post