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FROM THIS EPISODE

"Value-added analysis” has been used to fire public school teachers who failed to measure up.  In Los Angeles, the value-added rankings of 6000 teachers were published on line. We hear about the strengths and weaknesses of the latest fad in education reform.  Also, graft at Afghan's Central Banks causes political turmoil, and religious leaders denounce religious bigotry, especially the burning of Islam's holiest book to commemorate the attacks on 9/11.

Banner image: Teacher June Brown helps Jeremy Torres, a third grade student at the Hill Public School, near Bayard, Nebraska. Photo: Larry W. Smith/Getty Images

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Gary Scott
Karen Radziner
Andrea Brody

Main Topic Education Reform and Teacher Accountability 35 MIN, 56 SEC

Very few public school teachers fail to get tenure, and education reformers have struggled to find an objective measurement of teacher performance. The latest rage, the "value-added analysis," is based on standardized tests of students in English and Math. Being used all over the country as a measurement of teacher performance, it is strongly promoted by President Obama's Race to the Top in Education, but remains highly controversial, as demonstrated over the past few weeks in America's second-largest school district, Los Angeles Unified. Can it help mediocre teachers do better? Can it eliminate those who never will? Can it be a weapon to weaken hard-earned job protections and silence dissent? We hear how "value-added analysis" works and why it's created a firestorm from Washington, DC to Los Angeles.

Guests:
Timothy Webb, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Education
Richard "Dick" Iannuzzi, President, New York State United Teachers
Jason Felch, Los Angeles Times (@jasonfelch)
Edward Haertel, Professor of Education, Stanford Universityi

Making News Graft at Afghan's Central Banks Causes Political Turmoil 7 MIN, 47 SEC

"The run on Kabul bank is shaking [Afghanistan's] fragile economy — and fraying what's left of trust in the government."  That's according to Jason Motlagh, who's in Kabul for Time magazine.

Guests:
Jason Motlagh, Correspondent, Time magazine

Reporter's Notebook General Petraeus Warns Burning Koran Endangers Troops 7 MIN, 14 SEC

Evangelicals in Florida say they'll burn copies of the Koran on September 11, plans that are being denounced by other religious leaders and by General David Petraeus, the US commander in Afghanistan. He says the action could endanger the lives of American soldiers and damage the US mission. Hundreds of Muslims in Kabul, Afghanistan and thousands in Jakarta, Indonesia have taken to the streets in the past two days after hearing of the plans. Jaweed Kaleem covers religion for the Miami Herald.

Guests:
Jaweed Kaleem, Reporter, Miami Herald

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