Friday, August 27, 2010

What some teachers don't want you to learn

A great column by the editorial page editor of the SF Chronicle:

Knowledge is power, but it is not always welcome. The Los Angeles Times just completed an extensive study of how individual teachers have fared at raising their students' math and English test scores in the state's most populous city. The raw data have been available to the L.A. Unified School District for years, but it never bothered to crunch those numbers, let alone share them with parents. The Times has pledged to publish its ratings of 6,000 elementary school instructors.

Reaction of the local teachers union? It has called for a "massive boycott" of the Times.

So it goes in California education, where even the most modest attempt to hold teachers accountable encounters fierce resistance from teachers unions. Earlier this year, the unions successfully leaned on their friends in the California Legislature to defeat a bill (SB955, by Sen. Bob Huff, R-Glendora) that would have allowed districts to consider factors other than seniority in teacher layoffs. Proposals to create merit pay, loosen tenure rules, expand inter-district transfers or allow more innovation through charter schools are reflexively denounced by the unions as attacks on a noble profession and the many dedicated teachers whose heroic efforts are underpaid and underappreciated.

…Parents in Los Angeles should be thanking - not boycotting - the Times for providing them with this limited but important insight into teacher performance. And parents in San Francisco and everywhere else in the state should be pushing school administrators to make this data available to them.


What some teachers don't want you to learn

John Diaz

San Francisco Chronicle August 22, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

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