FROM Timothy Webb
Value-Added Teacher Evaluations and the Race to the Top So-called "value-added analysis" is being used all over the country as a measurement of public school-teacher performance. It is strongly promoted by President Obama's Race to the Top in education. LA Unified has not used it, but the Los Angeles Times has created a firestorm after obtaining seven years worth of student test scores in Math and English. The paper applied "value-added analysis," ranked 6000 elementary teachers from best to worst and then it published its findings on line.
Education Reform and Teacher Accountability 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.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?