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Letters: Making test scores count -- for students

August 19, 2012

Re "Test scores should count too," Editorial, and "Teacher evaluation plan disputed," Aug. 16

In discussions of using student test scores as part of teacher evaluations, the student's willingness to perform is seldom mentioned.

High school students often don't try to do their best on standardized tests. Last year one of my students marked "C" all the way down his answer sheet. When I told him to make an honest attempt, he then marked "A" all the way down the page. His scores would have indicated that the teachers had not done their job.

Unfortunately, there are many California students who don't take the testing seriously because the scores don't affect their letter grades.

Sarah E. Adams

Rancho Palos Verdes

State law (the Stull Act) requires that student test scores be used in California teacher performance reviews. Still, our students are not being taught by teachers who are objectively managed by their leaders.

The L.A. Unified School District has responded fairly with a voluntary teacher performance review system that includes student test scores as one element. In response, the teachers union, UTLA, has taken steps to block the district's performance review process by encouraging teachers to opt out.

Los Angeles parents desperately want their children to learn. They expect school leadership to objectively and fairly manage according to clear educational goals, and to hold teachers objectively and fairly accountable to those standards.

Donald Funk

Redondo Beach

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