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How do you measure the value of a teacher?
The city Department of Education has released the rankings of 18,000 teachers in elementary and middle schools. The rankings are based on how much they helped students improve on standardized tests.
The system is complicated and may be difficult for some parents to comprehend. The ratings are said to have a high margin of error and are two years out of date.
The DOE was forced to release the rankings after being taken to court by media outlets that filed suit under the Freedom of Information law.
The ranking factored in variables outside the teacher’s control, such as the number of students living in poverty and those with limited English-speaking ability. Other variables included class size, race and gender.
The key factor was student improvement on standardized tests. The intent was to measure the teacher’s contribution to student performance.
Some education professionals say they are impressed. They say the ratings could serve as a model for the rest of the nation.
But data alone cannot measure the value of a teacher. No amount of detail can describe the impact a teacher will have on a student’s life. That is what being a great teacher is about and that is where the new evaluation system falls woefully short.
Teacher’s Aide Arrested
Parents at PS 52 in Springfield Gardens are understandably shocked to learn that a teacher’s aide has been arrested on charges of sexually abusing six students. The teacher’s aide was allegedly hugging and inappropriately touching 9- and 10-year-old girls.
School personnel overheard some of the girls talking about the alleged misconduct and alerted the police. There have been cases where teachers were falsely charged. Nevertheless, a number of teachers have been arrested in recent months and that is troubling.
“The charges in cases of this nature are disturbing on a number of different levels,” said District Attorney Richard Brown. “When parents deliver their kids into the custody of teaching professionals, they have a right to assume they will not be abused. The alleged actions of this defendant can never be tolerated.”
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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