March 1, 2012
New York Times
To the Editor:
Bill Gates makes a strong argument (“Shame Is Not the Solution,” Op-Ed, Feb. 23) against public release of teachers’ individual performance assessments. The last thing any educational reformer should want is for class test scores to be bandied about like ballplayer batting averages, without any perspective or context.
At the Los Angeles Unified School District, we have consistently opposed making scores public. As with Mr. Gates and the work of his foundation, our focus is on developing an innovative system to assess teachers that includes the use of data.
Evaluating teacher performance is a complex process involving critical factors like the assessment of principals, fealty to curriculum and value-added rankings.
Only by observing fair and careful disclosure rules can teachers, parents and educators feel confident that in the end this system will provide the best possible teacher in every classroom.
Superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District
Los Angeles, Feb. 27, 2012