Should Teacher Evaluations Be Public Information?

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Two years ago, teacher evaluations were made public after the Los Angeles Times filed a Freedom of Information request.  Last year in New York, education officials asked reporters to do the same thing.  They did and, after a legal battle, teacher rankings have been made public there too.  The teacher rankings -- based on student test scores -- are highly controversial. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says, "silence is not an option" in getting rid of substandard teachers. But Bill Gates warns that, "shame is not the solution." Even developers of so-called "value added" assessments say the tests are "inaccurate, unstable and unreliable" as predictors of future performance. Do parents still have a right to know?  Are teachers being scape-goated for the failures of public schools?




Warren Olney