New York City officials last week released “value added” reports that purport to estimate a teacher’s impact on his or her students’ standardized test scores to news outlets, several of which plan to make the data publicly available.
The move is expected to spark controversy among educators similar to that from a project by the Los Angeles Times, which published teachers’ names and value-added scores online in 2010.
The United Federation of Teachers has tried to prevent the release, but the union’s last legal defense failed earlier this month when a state court declined to hear an appeal to a ruling requiring the release under open-records laws.
Though generally supportive of using value-added as one part of evaluation systems, philanthropist Bill Gates argued a day before the release in The New York Times that making the reports available amounted to a “public shaming” of teachers that could threaten teacher-evaluation reform.
The Times has asked teachers in the relevant grades and subjects to submit additional context, which will be published with the reports. The online news site, gothamschools.org, has decided not to publish the ratings. The UFT plans to run ads protesting the release.
A version of this article appeared in the February 29, 2012 edition of Education Week as N.Y.C. Officials Release ‘Value Added’ Reports