According to LA Times reporters, many Los Angeles teachers are eager to get value-added feedback on their work, reports GOOD, which was part of a conference call with investigative reporter Jason Felch and Beth Shuster, the Times’ K-12 education editor.
A special education teacher, who wasn’t rated because she didn’t teach enough students, asked the Times to assess her and other special ed instructors, Shuster said.
When we opened up the database for teacher comments, before it went live on the website, we had a number of teachers who wrote into us requesting their private page—where they could see what their ratings are. And even before they got that information, they were asking us, “What more can you give us? Are you just going to give us this one number? Are you going to give us math and English broken out? How much more can you give me? I’m planning for the upcoming school year.” I mean, these people are asking a newspaper for this information. It just strikes me that these people are victims of the system. The district has not done anything to help these people. they’ve never gone in and helped these people in anyway, the good ones or the bad ones.
Principals at high-achieving schools were less likely to know which teachers were raising or lowering students’ test scores, Felch said.
. . . they’ve been under no pressure to improve, and the principals are not very focused on teacher quality. Because the kids come in at a very high level and score very high on achievement tests, they’re kind of resting on their laurels. … It was at those schools where we found a real disconnect between what the principal’s point of view was and what the data was telling us.
Parents need more than “parking lot chatter” to tell which teachers are helping students the most, Shuster said. If that causes chaos, with parents demanding their child get the highest scoring teachers, “That’s kind of a marketplace at work, isn’t it?” asks Shuster.