LA Times Shaming Teachers
My first reaction to the Los Angeles Times publishing the value added assessments of public school teachers in LA, was rather simple: “Fuck You, LA Times.” I could think of nothing more disrespectful towards teachers than publishing this material, which should be used to help identify teachers that need help, to shame struggling teachers. Because obviously the solution to poor teachers in our public school is march our struggling teachers in the middle of the town’s square (do any cities really have town squares anymore?) and wearing a scarlet letter F.
But Wait, They Probably Have Good Reason
But then I tried to consider the Times’ position. Obviously if there are bad teachers in the school system, people deserve to know which ones, right? Instead of using the information to help struggling teachers, let’s overwhelm the already overworked “good teachers” with more students because parents will be requesting their kids moved away from these “bad teachers.” If schools refuse, we’ll have bitter parents; if they relent we’ll have “good teachers” withh classes of 100. All 100 of those students will get a good education from one good teacher, right? Obviously parents always behave rationally when they feel their children’s futures are threatened.
Maybe the Times feels that this is a wake up call to the LA school systems and want to use this public shaming as a catalyst for change, because obviously the public schools in the country have no idea that they need to work out new systems. It isn’t like there is federal money out there for schools to reform their teacher evaluation systems (as annoying as that program is).
I Welcome our New Surveillance Culture
No this is about freedom of information, so we should have the disciplinary records and progress evaluations of everyone be published to the world. We could start with the employees of the LA Times. Of course we will allow the staff of the Times to add comments that will be shown next to their evaluations, because that is only fair. The morale of the employees at the Times would not be harmed by this blatant humiliation. It is the right of the people to have information on the people working for a publication that is charged with providing information to the masses. There is no possible way the information used to help improve employees could be seen as proof of ineptitude. It could in no way be a serious violation of their employees’ privacy, and the public has a right to know. It’s in their best interest to know the quality of the journalists from whom they are getting their information.
So with these considerations I amend my earlier thought on the matter: “Fuck y