Tuesday, August 31, 2010

An Invasion of Privacy?

Recently the LA Times published a list rating teachers on how well they prepared students for the California Standardized Test. The list was released online and immediately became hugely popular. Teachers, as represented by their union, complained that this ranking did not accurately reflect the quality of their work. The School district evaluates the teachers by using more than just that one measure. In other words, the teacher's effectiveness is not based solely on how well their students did on the tests. You can read about this story by clicking here. Many educators argue that the problem with schools today is that teachers are encouraged to teach children how to pass standardized tests while not necessarily focusing on a child's individual needs. Here's my question. Do you think it was an invasion of privacy for the Times to publish this list of individualized names? As a public employee, do the teachers' have an argument that their rankings should not be published? Are they justified in complaining that the story does not accurately reflect their effectiveness in the classroom? How would you feel if you were a government employee and details about your performance were released without your consent?

P.S. please sign your name at the end of the blog reply. I can't tell from some of your usernames who to give credit to. For example, in the last post i'm not sure who Bethann, David, Hunter, Emdaco, or Nick is. We have a couple of David's and a couple of Nick's. Please specify who you are under your reply.

34 comments:

Taylor Lang said...

I do believe that publishing the list of the individualized names was an invasion of privacy. Teachers are public employees, but not in the same sense as a mayor or county commissioner in which their performance is routinely publicized. The L.A. Times could have made the names of these teachers anonymous by adding a random number or code to every teacher and their corresponding performance values. This would still fulfill the main objective of the study, which is to identify the change in student performance from the baseline. Although this seems to be a valuable study for the state, there is a certain level of confidentiality that should be kept for these teachers.

The article notes that only 30% of a teachers performance is based on “value added”, or how much a teacher added or subtracted from a students progress. The majority teacher evaluations are classroom observations. The teacher’s argument that the story does not accurately reflect their effectiveness in the classroom is a valid argument to make. Most members of the general public will never get sit in and observe a teachers performance. So, the general public having access to only the “value added” data may lead to unfavorable public perception of what is happening in the classrooms.

Cperkins said...

I definately disagree with ranking effectiveness of teaching based on standardized test scores. I think that too often children are grouped into classes based on no reasoning at all and that when you teach to a test instead of to the class, you loose children and they do not get what they need.

With that being said, I think that the more accountable we hold teachers the better job they will do. If I were a parent, I would definately want to know where my child's teacher ranks compared to other teachers in the district/state. I hope that I am intelligent to know that other factors play apart in their effectiveness, however this ranking is a standardized ranking and is a good indicator of where they rank.

I also believe that as a public school educator they lose their sense of privacy on a performance level. The people in their district that are paying the taxes that pay their salary have a right to know how effective the teaching ability is.

emdaco said...

I am not one hundred percent for or against this list as I see it has both pros and cons. I do not feel this is being an invasion of privacy to the teachers, those who work n a public figure and paid with tax money should answer to the public. My husband works for the IRS and although he is salary he must turn in a time sheet saying what he did each hour, and his work can be questioned but the public.
I do not feel the issue is the list, I think more so how the list was created and the ranking system. The teachers seem to be in favor of only be graded on how a student scores, yet complain they are only encouraged to teach students to pass test. If the system is going to considered more than just test scores they need to allow and help teachers reach out to students more than just the standard test. I feel that test are a poor system to grade both the teachers and the students, test prove very little simply how that person could answer a question in that moment in time. More essays and hands on should be used.
Although I feel the way the list was created may not be a hundred percent correct, overall Ido agree with the list. A teacher can not control what a student does with the tools given to them, but is the overall average is high or low it reflects directly on the teacher. Any public employee's performance and non-personal record should be relased without consent.

Nicholas J May said...

I am against this type of list being used to rate the quality of a teacher. Teaching is much more than just test, standardized or any other kind. I believe this should have to be done on an individual basis and you have to take into consideration the makeup of the classroom, the enviorment that the students have at home and at school. All of these items effect the outcome of standardized testing. We as a society have gotten used to instant results and to many of us place alot of value on test such as these. If you really want to get involved and see how well a teacher performs your going to have to take the time to go to the class and see for yourself. There are other values that should be taken into consideration such as the individual needs of students, the learning enviorment at school and at home, parental involvement. All of these items alone or in any combination effect the outcome of students on standardized test.

rap201 said...

First, the fact that the IRS (or any other gov't agency) forces their employees to fill out a timesheet describing the employee’s hour accomplishments is ridiculous. This is typical of gov't "red tape" and the practice should be abolished. Let the manager manage and the employees perform their assigned work functions. An employee’s work speaks for itself without having to waste time on some fabricated time sheet.
Although I see the purpose of standardized tests, I cannot say that I fully agree with the concept. As a society, we have to accept that all students will respond to testing in the same way. Therefore, I do not think it is completely fair to the teachers to judge them on these tests.
Just because someone is a public employee does not mean that the employer has the right to publish sensitive information. Since at least a portion of the testing results have nothing to do with their teaching ability, I do not think it is a very effective instrument to improve the children's scores - isn't that what the school district really desires…better test scores? Empower the teachers and principals seem like a much better method of trying to improve the scores. The problem with gov't jobs is that it is impossible to fire an employee. I once worked for the gov't; after leaving for the private sector, I had a friend ask me how I liked the private sector. My response was that the money was good but I could actually be fired - either for poor performance or simply economic reasons. Now we are learning that the gov't jobs pay more than the private sector jobs in addition to the added job security.

Yureka Lawrence said...

I believe without a doubt that publishing the list of teachers was an invasion of privacy. I agree with the teachers in the aspect that the test score were not an acurate measure of their abilities. There could have been several factors on why children scored high or low. The L.A Times did not have to publish those specific teachers names in the paper. This was going to far. Just like in a study the participants at least have the option of remaining unknown.

I am not saying specifically in this case but normally assessments like this are used to help teachers improve their methods not rag on them for what they have done wrong or for them to be punished for the kids who scored poorly.Some kids are good test takers and some are not.What happens if a teacher who was on this so called list tried to get a job at another school where the principal had read this article. Would she get the job? Shame on you L.A. Times.

Megan said...

This is a tricky question. Public figures have their private lives published almost daily. A teacher is a public figure. But where does the line between our private lives and what should be known to the public get drawn?

My main concern about this situation is that The Times is evaluating a teacher based on one thing... a standardized test score. This can not be the only way to evaluate a teacher. More than standardized tests should be considered when rating a teacher's performance.

My daughter was in the third grade last year. All we heard about was the MCTII. It got to the point of being absolutely rediculous. All her teachers taught her was what was going to be on the MCTII. I believe there is more to teaching a child than their score on a standardized test. Many people do very well on tests such as the MCTII, but there are many that do not. That doesn't mean that one child is smarter than the other or that a teacher isn't doing their job.

As a mother, I want my daughters to not only be well educated and do good on tests but I would love for her to be a well-rounded child. I want her to be taught about life and the world, not just how to pass a test.

Melissa Laster said...

I believe that it is an invasion of privacy to publish individual names. I think that they could have ranked them as a school instead of individual teachers. I think that it is the public’s right to know how there school district is doing on standardized tests. But I don’t think it is the public’s right to know the individual teacher’s scores. The school should know the teachers scores and they do but not the public. If a teacher’s students do badly on the test then the school district should approach that teacher in a private meeting. The public should not know individual teacher’s scores.
Yes I believe that the teachers have an argument. In my hometown there was a big ordeal with teacher salaries. Our newspaper published teachers with salaries above $40,000. I believe that that is an invasion of privacy. Even though the teachers are public employees the public doesn’t have the right to know there individual student scores and their salaries.
I do believe that the teachers are justified in complaining about the story not accurately reflecting their classroom. Teachers do plan to teach the students what is on the standardized tests but they also teach other things. They do not spend their whole school year just teaching that. Having a mom and many friends that are teachers I know that about a two or three months before the tests they go back through things they have taught that will be on the test and make sure they cover everything else that will be on the test. I don’t think that the test scores accurately show what the individual teachers teach in their classrooms.
I would be really upset of what I did in my job was sent to the public, unless what I did was wrong and it directly affected the public. In government employed jobs you have to realize that anything you do can be seen by the public or given to the public that is just part of the job.

jerodine said...

I believe if you publishing the lists of a individlized names are an invasion of privacy. I agree with the teachers because aspect that test score do not measure of their abilities. There many reason why some children scored are higher or lower than other. L. A Times didn't publish those specific teachers names in the paper.

I think the teacher should use some other method to help the children that score low. Some children are a better test takers than other. Some parent should be more involve with their children at home by making should they do there home work and checking to see do they need help.

Daniel said...

I do not feel that the publishing of this list was a violation of the teachers privacy. As a public employee teachers should realize that the citizens paying their salaries have the right to know what kind of job they are doing. However, there needs to be a more comprehensive approach to evaluating the teachers, not just test scores.

I also believe that the test scores for the children may be misleading. If a teacher simply focuses on material for the test, there is as whole lot of ground left uncovered. Today to much emphasis is being placed on standardized test scores.

Daniel Ray

rap201 said...

Since I do not believe that standardized tests are an effective way to evaluate teachers (or students), I would have to agree that this is an evasion of privacy. In many cases, the teachers simply cannot control the students testing ability. I would guess that inner-city students scored lower than students in wealthy areas of the LA. Therefore, the leaders of LA probably think it is a good idea to bus some of the inner-city students to the suburbs to be educated with the students that scored higher. Personally, I would disagree with that thought.

Because it is my belief that at least a portion of the test score is out of the teacher’s control, it could be offensive to the teacher to publicly display a low score. This could be comparable to a race car driver with a Ford Focus trying to race a Ford Mustang. Regardless of how hard the Focus driver tried, it would be extremely difficult to beat the Mustang drive in a race.
The primary reason the public school system is struggling is because the government is using test scores to justify their existence. My opinion is that we should get rid of the tests (at least in their current form) and let good teachers teach.

Robert Prestininzi (rap201)

Sara said...

Skw98

I definitely think that publishing the list of individual names was an invasion of privacy. There are so many different ways to handle this situation without showing the teachers names. Teachers do have an argument that their rankings shouldn't have been posted because they didn't get consent from the teachers. After getting consent, they could have then used a specific code for their names or school insted of their actual names.

I don't believe that the test scores reflect on the teacher's abilities. Standardized tests have always been difficult for children and it's not the teacher's fault if they don't do well. More importantly, teachers need to focus on each student's individual learning skills to teach them best; each student learns at a different level and pace. Evaluating teachers should be based on far more than just standardized test scores.

If I was a teacher and I didn't give my consent to putting my name beside my class's scores, I would be very upset. They should have handled the situation differently.

Sara Walters

Beth ann said...

Being the daughter of a school administrator and having a sister who is a teacher, I have heard these issues being discussed in our household on many occasions. My feelings on these issues have probably been influence a great deal by my father. He would say, and I agree, standardized testing is all about accountability. Trying to let the taxpayers see what they are getting for their tax dollars is driving many of these issues.
There has been a great deal of pressure on states to improve their student performance. This pressure is being passed down to local school districts, which then start looking at individual schools. The building administrators feel they have no choice but to put pressure on the teachers to improve student achievement. This process causes the needs of the individual students to become secondary. I have no problems holding school administrators and teachers accountable for the performance of their students. As long as tax dollars are spent for the funding of education, the taxpayers have a right to know what they are getting for their money. I do not agree with the publishing of students or teachers names in the local media, but I see no problem publishing achievement results of individual schools. This is something I think the parents have the right to know. The “No Child Left Behind (NCLB)” law requires schools to notify parents and offer them a choice when a school falls in school improvement status. NCLB law determines individual and school success by how much each student improved over last year’s achievement. NCLB does not measure success by an overall high achievement score, but by the individual improvement by each student. This is how I also feel we should be judging schools. School achievement need to be judged by the amount of achievement gain and not just a total score.
Elizabeth Ann Wade

LHipp said...

This wasn’t an invasion of privacy. There is no privacy in a public classroom funded by taxpayer dollars. The teachers do not have a privacy argument that their results should not be published. Parents and taxpayers have a right to know the type of education their children are receiving. However, there is more to teaching than standardized tests. The better question is: Was this fair? I would say no. There are too many factors in a classroom that affects a child’s score. Did he have breakfast? Do his parents read to him or make him do homework? Is the teacher in a high-income area or a low-income area? Those all play a role in the effectiveness of a teacher.

And I am a government employee, and yes, my job performance could be released without my consent. As a public employee I know my salary is public record, and I know that I am under a higher level of scrutiny than a worker in the private sector. The tradeoff? A good retirement system funded by myself and taxpayers.

Laura Hipp

bkp36 said...

Invasion of privacy has so many different levels that could be questioned today, such as public records, internet tracking/tracing, I D thumb print scanning, etc. There are public servants who fully expect many things about their jobs to be disclosed. Everything about education is researched and analyzed. I don't believe this is an invasion of privacy but I do feel the article could have been more thorough. Rankings should be public record. Parents have a right to know as well as tax payers how well our education system is working. However, I believe the teachers have a very good argument when they claim the scores do not always reflect their teaching skills. There are so many mandates and testing requirements that I believe good teachers must be often discouraged as well as loss of creativity. As Laura mentioned above parents also play a role as well as other socioeconomic factors. More details should have been provided, new evaluations tools should be considered and all information should be made public, positively not only negatively. For teachers to be more successful we also have a responsibility to provide the resources necessary for success and often that means more teachers, smaller classes, and better facilities.

I have been a government employee in the past and my spouse is a government employee today. I personally feel if more information was made public the long term effect would be better job performance. I worked in higher education and I worked directly with students who choose education as their major ONLY because they wanted the summers and holidays off. Thank goodness this does not reflect the majority of our teachers. Unfortunately, I know many state and federal employees who have the same attitude. Once you get your foot in the door as a government employee often it is difficult to be terminated and some people only do enough to skate by.

B Paganelli

lukehwest said...

I do not think that the New York Times publication was an invasion of privacy at all. These teachers are employees of the state, which means they are paid by taxpayers. These taxpayers have the right to know what their money is going to pay for and the quality of the services that they are paying for. I believe that it is the governments job to evaluate these teachers and publish, untouched and truthful, results to the public.
In defense of the teachers I can relate to a school where test scores are all that the administrators look for. My high school was where teachers simply “taught the test” and never worried about teaching anything else. Even though this district says that their results were not based completely on the test scores, the teachers are usually so pressured to have high test scores they can never do other aspects of their job to teach other things.
In terms of privacy, the teachers were not violated. I think the teachers should relocate to a school district where test scores are not the focus on the school. If they do not want their results posted they should consider a private school.

Luke West (lwh55)

Brandon said...

I feel like the release of the names is an invasion of privacy, but first let me address my longstanding disdain with standardized testing. To begin with, let me first say that I have always tested well, so my dislike is not based out of personal frustration or a history of bad results. I have had so many friends that I knew were quite intelligent but could never seem to test to the best of their abilities. I was always so confused until I realized that they just all suffered from test anxiety. They were unable to fulfill their potential because they felt the pressure of the test distracted them from being able to recall information that they could easily recall under normal circumstances.

With that said, I feel that teachers are definitely encouraged to teach so that test scores are raised or maintained. There wee many times in my educational experience that I heard a teacher say that they would love to talk more about a certain item, but could not because they had to cover such a large amount for testing purposes. It was frustrating to be rushed by the timetable of covering such a large amount of information, but not having the time to understand very much of that information in a critical manner.

So I do feel that it was a breach of privacy because many teachers could be misconstrued as bad teachers based simply on the fact that their scores were not as high as other teachers who may have even taught directly as the test would cover. The incentive is for a teacher to never deviate, never become creative, and never adapt, but rather fit the mold and that is it. Also, I feel that the information related to these scores should remain confidential. These are scores that reflect on people and those people can and most likely will be judged based on this information. Unfortunately a large portion of the people making these judgments will likely be unqualified to make the judgments or will not seek out the necessary information to qualify the judgments.

Overall, I feel that it is an injustice to the teachers and to the readers of the polls because in my opinion this is not a true measure of the teachers, though the poll might make it seem as such.

Brandon Deering

Paula said...

I don't think that the L.A. Times should've published the names of those teachers whether their performance was good or bad. Whatever happened to giving praise for a job well done? Sure someone should be held accountable but at whose expense. The parents of the students have a part to play, the administration have a part to play, educators,and students all have a role to play. The teachers have a job to do sure, but what are the circumstances or what kind of environment are they working in?

The article stated that the teachers were able to review there scores beforehand but still it was a slap in the face and an invasion of privacy. If you've gone to school to get an education having the desire to teach and this is the kind of treatment. You're penalized for wanting to teach. They should've came up with some other type of study because the value added does not show a true picture of the teacher's capabilities.

jessimpson said...

Teachers are among the most scrutinized people in the country but for good reason. We must examine those of which we have left our children to learn. In a perfect society, children would learn most of what is needed for life and college at home (in my opinion). This is not the case, however. We educate teachers in order to educate our youth while we go to work. I feel as though I am of a biased opinion when I say that I do not think it was right for the L.A. Times to publish the teachers' effectiveness (my friend is a teacher). I listen to my friend talk constantly about being put under a microscope.

If I were a teacher, this would be humiliating for me whether it was a good or bad report. A good report would, perhaps, turn fellow coworkers against me while it's obvious that a bad report would be embarrassing. Also, what if this report was used to fire someone? Then they could turn around and sue the L.A. Times, I suppose. I agree with Taylor that there is a better way to go about studying the effectiveness of teachers. It was most definitely an invasion of privacy. The school system should be monitored but in a more private way.

Nick said...

On one hand, I definitely think this is an invasion of privacy. Yes teachers are technically public employees. However I look at in the sense that they are employees that serve the general public. They personally weren’t elected to hold the job of 7th grade Math teacher. They were hired by elected officials of the school board and/or principals. The publically elected officials and senior administrative staff (ie, Superintendants, CFO, etc.) should be held to public opinion more intensely as the importance of their role in the school system.

That being said, teachers are just like any other job or profession. There are good workers and there are bad workers. There are good teachers and bad teachers. When it comes to educating our youth, and workers collecting tax generated revenue in general, shouldn’t the citizens paying their salary have a right to know if they are good or bad workers? Should the citizens continue to pay for poor performance year in and year out for a bad teacher?

It’s a real slippery slope. The question is where do you draw the line as to what is public information and what is personal information. In this instance, I’m on the fence. I see both sides of the issue and both have great merit. Publishing list nearly publically humiliates poor performing teachers. But then again, will this motivate the poorly rated teachers to try and do a better job? Because doing a better job educating the children is the ultimate goal.

Nick Abernathy

john ray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john ray said...

I don't believe that publishing the list of names was an invasion of privacy. They are public employees paid by tax payers, so the tax payers should be able to see how the teachers are performing.

I do believe that the criteria that the teachers are evaluated on is not fair. An evaluation needs to be more comprehensive and not based on one test or even one class year. The teacher may just get a bad class one year that isn't very smart.

ccleggett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ccleggett said...

The only issue I have with the rankings being published is that the teachers did not have access to the information before it was made public. I do, however, think that they should be a matter of public record once the individual is made aware of his/her results. I think it would give the public one more piece of information, among numerous others, with which to make decisions regarding the education of their children. Speaking as a parent, I understand that this ranking is not the only criteria by which they are assessed, but it is representation of ability to some extent.
One of the most frustrating things I had to address with my children in school were the WEEKS (more than a month) that were devoted to "reviewing" for the standardized state tests. By reviewing, I mean giving the students the exact answers and going over the exact test question by question, instead of teaching the material that the child needs to take the test on their own. Not only were my children bored silly by that approach, but even they knew they were not learning what they needed to be learning.

Carol Leggett
ccl114

hallen said...

First, and slightly off topic, the public school system in this country relies far too heavily on standardized tests. I've spent the past 10 years of my life in Memphis, TN (home of one of the worst Public School systems in the country) and I can tell you first hand that the focus each and every school year is on passing those tests...period. Not on being a well rounded person, not on developing life skills, but focusing on scoring high in math and science for "no child left behind" money.

That being said, the question in LA to me is two-fold. First, is it invasion of privacy? Well, sure. In this day and age though, we waved bye-bye to privacy a long time ago. Believe me, I hate it, but the concept of privacy is long gone. We now live in a society where we are on camera nearly everywhere we go, our actions are broadcast on sites like Twitter and Facebook, and public employees especially are going to be monitored. My issue in this story is not so much the violation of privacy, but in the information released. Why didn't the Times release all the criteria for ranking? To release the element that makes up 30% of performance, in my opinion was the irresponsible part.

Henry Allen

clp said...

It was very demeaning for the LA Times to publish the individualized names of the teachers, but it was not an invasion of privacy. I have no doubt this information was available to anyone who took the trouble to look for it before the article was published. Any public employee has some form of statistical data that reflects on their job that is available to the public. The FBI publishes crime statistics and police employee data, which reflects on their job performance. Although statistics alone cannot reflect if someone is a good employee, statistics are used to evaluate an employee and public employees' data is often available to the public without their consent. If I were a public employee, I would accept that my work would be open to public scrutiny.

Even though I don't feel that this was an invasion of privacy, I do not feel that publishing the list of teachers was the right thing to do. The data is seriously flawed. A good standardized test score does not necessarily translate to someone being a good teacher. I do feel the teachers were justified in complaining. The value-added analysis uses the students' past test scores to extrapolate what future test scores they should have. The actual test scores are then compared to the predicted test scores. The raw test scores are not reflected in the value-added analysis; therefore, if a teacher has students with scores that are very high there is little room for improvement. For example, if a student scored a perfect or near perfect score and continues to score above average no improvement has been made and the teacher is labeled less effective.
Codi Phillips
clp233

clp said...

It was very demeaning for the LA Times to publish the individualized names of the teachers, but it was not an invasion of privacy. I have no doubt this information was available to anyone who took the trouble to look for it before the article was published. Any public employee has some form of statistical data that reflects on their job that is available to the public. The FBI publishes crime statistics and police employee data, which reflects on their job performance. Although statistics alone cannot reflect if someone is a good employee, statistics are used to evaluate an employee and public employees' data is often available to the public without their consent. If I were a public employee, I would accept that my work would be open to public scrutiny.

Even though I don't feel that this was an invasion of privacy, I do not feel that publishing the list of teachers was the right thing to do. The data is seriously flawed. A good standardized test score does not necessarily translate to someone being a good teacher. I do feel the teachers are justified in complaining. The value-added analysis uses the students' past test scores to extrapolate what future test scores they should have. The actual test scores are then compared to the predicted test scores. The raw test scores are not reflected in the value-added analysis; therefore, if a teacher has students with scores that are very high there is little room for improvement. For example, if a student scored a perfect or near perfect score and continues to score above average no improvement has been made and the teacher is labeled less effective.

Codi Phillips
clp233

Hunter Boerner said...

I think it was totally an invasion of privacy for the LA Times to publish a list of individualized names. I agree with other students in the class in the sense that the teachers have a right and a valid argument for the lists to not be published. Like Taylor said, they are public figures but do not need their information released to better the community quite like mayors or governmental officials.
I have always been against standardized tests. I worked hard in school and made good grades because I was motivated and tried hard. I did average on tests. It always made me so mad when other students that never took notes or listened in class did great on the tests. I think this is the same concept for the teachers. They can try as hard as they want, but it may not necessarily affect a student’s scores. If I was a governmental employee and details of my performance were published I would feel very violated even if my students scores had risen. I think there has to be another way of measuring a teacher's effectiveness in the classroom.

Charlotte Hunter Boerner

David said...

The article was definitely not an invasion of privacy. The article is merely allowing society to evolve with the infrastructure of employment. During the current recession, public employees are now compensated at a higher rate with greater benefits than private employees. In the recent past and with most public employees, there is an unequal playing ground. Private employees during the current downturn have been scrutinized for compensation structures as well as their performance. Examples are bountiful in the financial services sector.

Public employees with their rich benefit structure and stable employment should justify greater scrutiny of performance especially considering their long term effects on society through shaping the minds of our country's future. In a society where individual benefits are publicized for private companies, public employees should be held to a higher standard as there relative employment and compensation have surpassed private sector employment.

I do believe the media should give a proper notification and realize the effect on the educators of the article but more importantly the effects on students, school, and parents. All public employees should be expecting greater scrutiny as their compensation packages have surpassed private employment however the media needs to be a facilitator of the transition.

For equal accountability,
David Tuyo

JOHN B said...

I do not believe that the posting of a list rating teachers on how well they prepared their students for the California Standardized Test was an invasion of the teachers’ privacy. As public employees, teachers must expect to have certain information about their performance to be made public. However, I also believe that the LA Times should have made it clear that this rating represented only a portion of the teacher’s performance evaluation. As taxpayers, members of the public have a vested interest in knowing the effectiveness of their public school system. Whether or not the general public has a specific right to the rankings of specific teachers is debatable. However, parents of children who are being taught by the teachers should have a right to know how successful their children’s teachers are in the classroom overall, not just at teaching them to take tests. Parents who are interested in knowing how their children’s teachers are performing will get this information even if the ratings are not posted in a newspaper article.

Too much emphasis is placed on standardized tests. A teacher’s evaluation should be based on more than his/her students’ ability to take tests. One of the most important functions of a teacher is to make sure that the students’ individual needs are met academically. A standardized test cannot make that determination.

John Rabalais

JOHN B said...

I do not believe that the posting of a list rating teachers on how well they prepared their students for the California Standardized Test was an invasion of the teachers’ privacy. As public employees, teachers must expect to have certain information about their performance to be made public. However, I also believe that the LA Times should have made it clear that this rating represented only a portion of the teacher’s performance evaluation. As taxpayers, members of the public have a vested interest in knowing the effectiveness of their public school system. Whether or not the general public has a specific right to the rankings of specific teachers is debatable. However, parents of children who are being taught by the teachers should have a right to know how successful their children’s teachers are in the classroom overall, not just at teaching them to take tests. Parents who are interested in knowing how their children’s teachers are performing will get this information even if the ratings are not posted in a newspaper article.

Too much emphasis is placed on standardized tests. A teacher’s evaluation should be based on more than his/her students’ ability to take tests. One of the most important functions of a teacher is to make sure that the students’ individual needs are met academically. A standardized test cannot make that determination.

John Rabalais

Ebb said...

I can't see how publishing the list of the individualized name was to be an invasion of privacy. I don't see why such a big deal was made about this. I just feel that if you are employed by certain jobs, they expect you to behave in a certain way at all times. So you have to be careful of what you do when you are in a public office, your are representing your state or city. What you do sometime could cause you your job.

scacapit said...

I dont believe publishing the list of names was wrong. The people have a right to know how teachers are ranked in comparison to others.

I do believe there should be specifications saying that this list does not reflect the actual abilities of the teachers. Standardized tests are taken by a wide variety of people that learn differently. The test ususally doesnt not reflect accurate intelligence for those who don't take them well.

Renita Moore said...

I do not feel that the teachers' name should have been listed in the mannerism it was. Teaching is a hard task, and some students will excel, yet;others will not excel. I feel as if the teachers should have had meetings to learn ways to keep the students on task better. They really work hard, and a lot of times they deal will lots of rif raf on the job administrative wise. How can we hold the teachers acountable? We, as parents need to hold our children accountable and stop treating our kids as if they are our parents allowing them to avoid studying. It takes every one to raise a child today.
Renita Moore