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Teachers comment on their value-added evaluations

Some of the 6,000 L.A. Unified teachers whose rankings were made public by The Times air their thoughts on value-added ratings.

September 01, 2010

The real truth is that I get evaluated by more than 30 people every day I teach. I get evaluated on whether or not I listen to them when they tell me things that they have never told anyone else. I get evaluated when I see in a child's eyes that they do not understand and I need to come up with three other ways to present a concept to them. I get evaluated when I have to break up a fight or mend a friendship. I get evaluated when I stay after school to help kids with homework whose parents can't or, worse, won't. I get evaluated when former students come back to visit me and recall specific lessons they did five years ago. I get evaluated when a student struggles and finally succeeds with a smile. According to your research, the only data that matters to my evaluation is the four days out of the year my students are tested, when in reality I see every day as an evaluation, and I sure hope in my students eyes that I pass as being something more than "average."

Janelle Renee Mault, Wilbur Avenue Elementary

I work at a high-performing school. Many of my students enter my classroom with scores already at the proficient and advanced level. It is not uncommon for some to have perfect scores of 600. Should these students maintain these scores, I would be considered an average teacher because the student did not improve. If a student misses even one or two questions (dropping to 580 or 560), I would be considered to be doing a poor job. This seems unreasonable.

I welcome the notion of meaningful evaluation for teachers and other educators. Reform certainly is in order, but this notion is flawed — it gives too much weight to test scores with little regard to other factors.

Jocelyn Lodroni Abuyen, 107th Avenue Elementary

There are many factors that impact students' academic performance. Teacher quality and effective instruction are two underlying factors. My school has had 13 different assistant principals within the past seven years. Student transiency rate is high. I don't believe that publishing a teacher's effectiveness in comparison to other teachers in the district is fair and meaningful. By doing this, you are influencing teachers to cheat on the state standardized test.

Jennifer Lynn Moreno-Rojas, Lillian Street Elementary

The sad thing is that even though some teachers like myself score more effective than average, it doesn't mean much to school districts or to the state of California. I have proven to be an effective teacher, but I also am one of the many quality teachers who have been laid off in California.

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