What I wrote a few months ago about the release of data in LA
This is what I wrote about this topic a couple of months ago in LA (http://edreform.blogspot.com/2010/08/union-leader-calls-on-la-teachers-to.html):
To absolutely nobody's surprise, A.J. Duffy, one of the most backward union leaders in the country, is trying to intimidate the LA Times by organizing a boycott (which will, of course, fizzle). He's right that this article isn't fair to many teachers who will be identified as ineffective even though some of them probably aren't. This raises troubling privacy issues, especially since tests alone, even when used in conjunction with a good value-added analysis, aren't a sufficient way to properly evaluate teachers (contrary to union talking points, NOBODY thinks this is the case).
So why do I think this reporting by the LA Times is so important and why did I call it "breakthrough journalism"? Because it's going to force both the unions and the school district to stop the unconscionable status quo, whereby NO teachers are evaluated in any meaningful way at all – where 99% of teachers get a satisfactory rating, every probationary teachers gets lifetime tenure for merely having a pulse, etc.