from the Tampa Times by Jeff Solochek
While Florida teachers complain loudly about their new evaluations, which for the first time rely on student test results and a “value-added” model of analyzing them, the Los Angeles school district is preparing to drop a similar program.
Instead, the LA Times reports, the district and teachers union have agreed to a formula that incorporates a mix of school and individual data, such as district assessments, state tests, attendance and suspension rates, and a variety of other indicators.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called the move a major concession. “But I ultimately supported it because overall it was a step forward from what we had before,” he told theLA Times. “This was an opportunity to get a better tool to measure success in the classroom.”
It hasn’t been laid out exactly how the new model will be put into practice. But, then, the value-added model was seen by many as a work in progress anyway, something that states and districts were implementing as they created definitions and worked out kinks, often unsuccessfully. The big question is, will Florida, Illinois and other places that have turned lately to VAM take Los Angeles’ lead? Should they?