Grading teachers: In the news and in dispute. Will Georgia follow suit?

By Maureen Downey, Atlanta Constitution Journal

A critical study of the LA Times teacher ranking project was released today by the National Education Policy Center.

The question of teacher rankings has particular relevance to Georgia, which, under its Race to the Top grant, will begin assigning teachers effectiveness grades based in part on student test scores. There is no indication yet whether those grades will be made public, a decision likely to fall to the state Legislature.

In explaining its controversial teacher ranking system, the LA Times said:

About 6,000 Los Angeles elementary school teachers and 470 elementary schools are included in The Times’ database of “value-added” ratings. Third-, fourth- and fifth-grade teachers who taught at least 60 students from the 2002-03 through 2008-09 academic years were evaluated in the Times analysis. Most of Los Angeles Unified School District’s elementary schools are included. Test scores for charter schools that do not report directly to the district were not available.

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