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NY Times Spotlights Top Teachers Following Release of Data Reports
March 2nd, 2012

Many have criticized the release of the teacher rankings by the New York City DOE, saying that they invite undue “shame and humiliation” upon low-scoring teachers and haven’t been proven accurate enough to warrant public dissemination.  However, according to the New York Times, the ratings also shined a spotlight on educators who were best able to improve their students’ scores on standardized English and Math tests.

Testing Mom Co-Founder Michael McCurdy wrote on the subject on his personal blog:

Teachers across the board seem to be concerned about the impact this may not only have on their individual careers but on the students they teach on a daily basis.  Let’s face it, would you want your work performance review (even if it was great!) posted in the most widely daily circulated publication in America?

The Times article hits especially close to home for Michael as his own daughter’s teacher, Alison Epstein of Chelsea Prep, was ranked as one of the top teachers in the city.  Epstein, who spoke to the NY Times for their article on the reports has mixed feelings about the results, saying “A test is one glimpse into the skills they’ve acquired. If they do poorly, it doesn’t mean they don’t know.”  She cited children’s focusing skills, ability to read and follow instructions, and parental involvement as variables that were not accounted for in the reports.

What do you think? Post your opinions in the comments!

And, if you’re interested in learning more about the Teacher Data Reports in NYC, you can read the FAQ page on the Times’ SchoolBook blog.

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