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How The Times built teacher effectiveness database [Updated]

August 27, 2010 |  4:58 pm

TalkBackLAThe Times soon plans to publish a database on its website charting Los Angeles Unified School District teacher performance, allowing parents and others to examine the information.

In the video above, Times Database Editor Doug Smith describes the yearlong effort to gather the test scores and build the database. He also talks about the efforts over the last few weeks to provide teachers with the information before it goes online, giving them a chance to submit comments that will appear next to their scores. Smith said. The Times assembled a team to send out the information to nearly 2,000 teachers.

Smith also addresses some of the concerns raised by teachers and others about publishing the data. Smith said he's aware of concerns that the database could embarrass teachers and confuse parents. But he said he felt strongly it is important to make the data public and spark a debate about how to better use the information in making schools better.

What do you think? Share your views below.

[Updated Aug. 29 at 8 a.m.: Visit The Times' Los Angeles Teacher Ratings database, which launched Sunday, to learn more about how effective 6,000 Los Angeles Unified elementary school teachers have been at improving their students performance on standardized tests.]