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Should Your Value-Added Rating be Public?

An issue brief from the Center for American Progress argues that publicly identifying teachers in connection with their value-added student test-score ratings (a la The Los Angeles Times) may actually undermine efforts to improve teacher quality. By giving too much weight to one, not entirely perfect measure of performance, the brief argues, public value-added ratings could alienate teachers from more holistic evaluation efforts and possibly ward off others who are interested in the profession. "The bottom line is this," the brief's authors write: "Teachers need to be part of reforms but releasing names this way only leads to conflict and runs counter to the need for collaboration."

The obvious follow-up question (just to play devil's advocate): Is this saying that the public—e.g., parents—can't be trusted to make appropriate use of the information (information about teachers, incidentally, that school systems obviously think is important)? That seems like a potentially hazardous road to travel.

Your thoughts?

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