Reporting from New York —
Most New York City voters support the release of public school teachers' rankings, but nearly half of all voters and a majority of pupils' parents agree with teachers that the evaluation system is flawed, according to a new poll released Wednesday.
The Quinnipiac University poll indicates that parents of public school students, and the general public, agree that it was right to make the evaluations public, as New York City's Department of Education did last month after losing a court battle to keep them from public view. According to the survey of 964 voters, 58% supported making the evaluations public and 38% opposed it. Among those who have children in public schools, 59% supported releasing the rankings and 36% opposed it. The remainder in each set were undecided or did not know.
But only 20% of the general public trusted the rankings, while 46% said they believe they were flawed. The remainder were undecided or did not know. Among parents of public school pupils, the results were nearly the same: 21% trusted the rankings and 42% considered them flawed.
New York City teachers and their union were livid last month over the publication of the rankings, which are based on a controversial value-added system that seeks to tie pupils' test scores to teachers' effectiveness and assigns teachers rankings from "high" to "low." The evaluation system gained national attention in 2010 when the Los Angeles Times used it to come up with rankings for several thousand teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Those rankings, based on seven years of math and English test scores, were published by The Times, the first time such information had been made public.