Mourners at the funeral of 5th grade teacher Rigoberto Ruelas, who authorities say committed suicide, expressed anger last week at the Los Angeles Times for publicly posting its “value added” ratings for teachers in the district.
Officials with the Los Angeles teachers’ union have said they learned from Mr. Ruelas’ family that he was depressed about his score. Based on the Times’ analysis, Mr. Ruelas, 39, was rated “average” in his ability to raise students’ English scores and “less effective” in his ability to raise math scores. Overall, he was rated slightly “less effective” than his peers. The scores were posted publicly on the Internet in August.
Mr. Ruelas’ brother, Alejandro Ruelas, told KPCC radio last week that it was unfair of the Times to post the information. “He’s not a mayor,” he said. “He’s not the president. He’s not a public worker.” Alejandro Ruelas said he was unaware of any personal problems in his brother’s life, but he said the family had heard from colleagues of his brother that the scores were being used against teachers.
Nancy Sullivan, the vice president of communications for the Times, issued a statement extending sympathy to the family.
A version of this article appeared in the October 06, 2010 edition of Education Week as Some Cite L.A. Times Report After Teacher’s Suicide