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March 11, 2012

The Trouble With Humiliating Teachers: Making rankings public undermines the trust educators need to build collaborative teams.

Wendy Kopp:

When I dropped my kids off at school last week, I had a hard time looking their teachers in the eye. The New York City government had just posted their performance assessments online, and though I'm a strong supporter of teacher accountability and effectiveness, I was baffled and embarrassed by the decision.

So-called value-added rankings--which rank teachers according to the recorded growth in their students' test scores--are an important indicator of teacher effectiveness, but making them public is counterproductive to helping teachers improve. Doing so doesn't help teachers feel safe and respected, which is necessary if they are going to provide our kids with the positive energy and environment we all hope for.

The release of the rankings (which follows a similar release last year in Los Angeles) is based on a misconception that "fixing" teachers is the solution to all that ails our education system.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at March 11, 2012 4:05 AM
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