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Union says L.A. teacher evaluations are irresponsible. Do you agree?

August 30, 2010 |  8:14 am


"It is the height of journalistic irresponsibility."

That's how the United Teachers Los Angeles described the Los Angeles Times' decision to publish a database of about 6,000 third- through fifth-grade city school teachers ranked by their effectiveness in raising student test scores.

TalkBackLAThe database is part of a Times series that rated teachers by using a "value-added" analysis based on seven years of standardized test scores obtained from the Los Angeles Unified School District. The value-added method looks at previous student test performance and estimates how much a teacher added to or subtracted from a student's expected progress.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, had asked The Times not to publish the database. In an interview Sunday on ABC's "This Week," she criticized the paper for using value-added scores in "isolation." In a later statement, she said the union is "disturbed that teachers will now be unfairly judged by incomplete data masked as comprehensive evaluations."

In the video above, Times Database Editor Doug Smith explains how the database was put together and addresses criticism generated by it.

What do you think? Share your views below.