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.
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?