Background Briefing: Teacher Ratings

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Photo by: Alice Proujansky

The release of New York City’s teacher data reports has triggered a flurry of coverage on the numbers, the teachers singled out as ranking high or low and the limitations of the data.

For more on where the reports come from and what they show (and don’t), read Helen Zelon’s earlier piece on the value-added rankings. Zelon pointed out: “It’s unclear if value-added scores provide the kind of precise measure they promise. What is clear is that, in New York City at least, the reports pertain to only 12,000 of the city’s nearly 80,000-member teaching force.”

Last summer Kelly Virella talked to a teacher who’d been rated unsatisfactory—and who chalked that up to office politics rather than anything he’d done or not done in the classroom

And we’ve also reported on the disparity between how teachers’ records have been handled and how performance reports on other public servants—like, say, police officers—are treated.

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