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ERIC Number: ED535641
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Subtraction by Distraction: Publishing Value-Added Estimates of Teachers by Name Hinders Education Reform
Epstein, Diana; Miller, Raegen T.
Center for American Progress
In August 2010 the "Los Angeles Times" published a special report on their website featuring performance ratings for nearly 6,000 Los Angeles Unified School District teachers. The move was controversial because the ratings were based on so-called value-added estimates of teachers' contributions to student learning. As with most value-added estimates, the data were based on students' standardized test scores, and the teachers' rankings were in relation to their peers. Publishing these records led to a fierce debate about whether or not it was appropriate to make this kind of personnel information publicly available. But the decision to publish this information is in fact not so simple. As value-added measures become an accepted component of teacher evaluations, states and school districts will increasingly have to grapple with the question of how much information should be made available to the public and how much should remain private because of the nature of the information about individual teachers. This issue brief lays out the main issues to consider and presents examples of how various states and districts are choosing to handle this very thorny subject. It also highlights distinctions between internal district value-added scores and external construction of value-added scores, the implications for their uses in both cases, and the duties and responsibilities of those computing and publishing the measures. This issue brief argues that publicly identifying teachers with value-added estimates will actually undermine efforts to improve public schools. (Contains 38 endnotes.)
Center for American Progress. 1333 H Street NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-682-1611; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for American Progress
Identifiers - Location: California; New York