Aug 31 2010

LA Times Series on Teacher Evaluations Provokes Boycott

LA TimesIn a controversial new series of articles, the Los Angeles Times has begun evaluating Los Angeles Unified School District teachers using a new grading system. This so-called “value-added” analysis attempts to explain student test scores by comparing the student with him or herself as opposed to the presently used Academic Progress Index (API) which compares students to their peers. The Times and proponents of this system claim that it mitigates many of the socio-economic discrepancies that have dogged the accuracy of standardized testing since its genesis. Value-added analysis follows students for years and compares the results of these individuals against their previous scores. The data presented by the Times suggest that teachers can have an incredible impact on their students’ learning, swaying average scores by as much as 20-30 percentile points in just a single year. In addition to renewing the debate on measuring student achievement, the series calls into to question the idea of what a successful school is. Many distinguished schools in The LAUSD are actually the worst in the district at raising test scores. Most incendiary of all though is The Times’ decision to publish the value-added scores of all 6000 teachers across the district. The teachers union, UTLA, has urged a boycott of the LA Times in the wake of the series and has scheduled a demonstration outside the Times’ office on September 14th.

GUEST: Sikivu Hutchinson, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Humanist Studies, editor of BlackFemLens.org.

Read Hutchinson’s writings at www.blackfemlens.org.

Read the UTLA’s response to the LA Times here: http://www.utla.net/system/files/VAMprotest_20100829.pdf

Check www.utla.org for more information about the upcoming September 14th rally outside the LA Times building.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “LA Times Series on Teacher Evaluations Provokes Boycott”

  1. […] has created a large controversy in and out of education circles.  The United Teachers of LA has scheduled a protest for September 14th outside the Times’ office.  There are rumors a sit-in demonstration at […]

  2. Tex Shelterson 06 Sep 2010 at 8:34 pm

    I wrote a post and a petition in support of your boycott.

    Thanks for your post!

    Sign the Petition
    http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/boycottlatimes/sign

    Post
    http://texshelters.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/push-back-against-value-added-evaluations-arne-duncan-and-the-la-times/

    Yours,
    Tex Shelters