Resolution on Value-Added Scores in Teacher Evaluations

WHEREAS, in an otherwise laudable effort to improve students’ educational outcomes, many school districts are looking for easy answers to the complicated task of evaluating and increasing teacher effectiveness, and

WHEREAS, rather than developing comprehensive teacher evaluation strategies that emphasize peer evaluation, professional development, constructive performance reviews, and cooperative sharing of best practices, some troubling reform efforts have promoted the use of “value-added” formulas, which compare students’ scores on standardized tests from the previous year to their scores at the end of the school year, and assign a numerical score to a teacher’s performance, followed in some cases by publishing those scores for public review, and

WHEREAS, “value-added” evaluation is a highly imprecise and unreliable tool, unable to accurately separate out a teacher’s performance from factors beyond his or her control, which often unfairly tars teachers as “underperforming” when in fact the same teacher has scored highly in previous years, and focusing on this single number to the exclusion of other factors in a child’s educational experience can confuse parents, depress school morale, destroy careers, and incentivize cheating,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Los Angeles County Democratic Party supports the creation and implementation of constructive, holistic teacher evaluation strategies, while opposing the use of value-added testing scores as the sole means of evaluating teachers, and reject any publication of teacher ratings, and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Los Angeles County Democratic Party will communicate this position to LAUSD Boardmembers, Superintendent John Deasy, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson, the Ranking Democratic members of the Senate and House Education Committees, and the Chairs of the Assembly and Senate Education Committees.

Author Damian Carroll, 46th AD Passed by DPSFV 5/8/12

Passed by LACDP 6/12/12

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