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.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
Trump fires FBI Director James Comey Vice President Mike Pence took the Administration's lead today in explaining why the President fired the Head of the FBI, saying, "The president made the right decision at the right time." Trump's action is being compared to the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre" that led to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1973.
A New York Times op-ed on climate change sparks uproar The New York Times is embroiled in a public furor over a new columnist, who wrote that scientific uncertainty is reason for debate about climate change. Many conservatives are delighted. Is America's leading liberal newspaper fostering climate denial? This is the latest in our series, "The Emotional States of America."
Trump, the GOP and the rule of law Conservatives — and some Republicans — are criticizing the President for "the mess he made" in firing FBI Director James Comey. We hear about a potential successor, the possibility of "obstruction of justice" and the constitutional separation of powers.