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Union says evaluation of teachers is 'dangerous.' Do you agree?

August 16, 2010 |  7:16 am
 

TalkBackLA

A new Times series measuring teacher effectiveness has generated much debate.

Some have praised the paper's effort for trying to give the public an assessment of teacher performance. Others say the effort is flawed because it uses test scores as the sole method of determining a teacher's performance.

One of the biggest critics is the L.A. teachers union. The head of the union said Sunday he was organizing a "massive boycott" of The Times after the newspaper began publishing a series of articles that uses student test scores to estimate the effectiveness of district teachers.

"You're leading people in a dangerous direction, making it seem like you can judge the quality of a teacher by … a test," said A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, which has more than 40,000 members.

Duffy said he would urge other labor groups to ask their members to cancel their subscriptions.

Based on test-score data covering seven years, The Times analyzed the effects of more than 6,000 elementary school teachers on their students' learning. Among other things, it found huge disparities among teachers, some of whom work just down the hall from one another.

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