Thursday, March 31, 2011

Letters: VALUE ADDED TEACHERS – Administrators, Shakespeare take the rap

Letters to the Editor of the LA Times, 3/30 |

Re "LAUSD tackles a tough formula," March 28

I find it curious that John Deasy, the L.A. Unified School District's incoming superintendant, believes "value-added" analysis of teacher effectiveness is preferable to having administrators visit classrooms and observe teachers.

Is there no time for such evaluations? Do the administrators lack the knowledge to be able to sort out good teachers from weak ones?

If this is the case, then our schools are academically leaderless. Who mentors teachers and helps them grow? Who is there to understand teachers' needs and provide resources and support?

It should be the responsibility of school site administrators to be the academic leaders at their schools. If they are unable to do that, value-added analysis of teachers is meaningless.

Mark Elinson

Los Angeles

The value-added method mathematically quantifies what is essentially a subjective activity. It's like trying to objectively rate a good piece of literature. On a scale of 10, William Shakespeare may have been rated a 5.5 because his English is difficult to read and the wording is archaic.

Administrative officials will always wind up embarrassing themselves with highly complicated, heavily tweaked formulas that try to quantify the unquantifiable.

Kevin Powell

Long Beach

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