- New York City is releasing the evaluations of its teachers today. Several news organizations are going to publish the results. The New York Times is asking teachers if they want to add an explanation to their ratings.
The same will happen in Rochester and districts across the state, once the evaluation system is in full swing.
The courts have ruled this information is public and I don’t disagree. However, we are constantly told the records of other public employees , such as police officers, are under seal. I’m guessing that’s because of civil service law.
The Times knows this data is deeply flawed:
The ratings are imperfect, according to independent experts, school administrators and teachers alike. There are large margins of error, because they are generally based on small amounts of data. And there are many other documented problems, like teachers being rated even when they are on maternity leave.
But the data figured in high-stakes decisions about public employees, and the debate about value-added ratings is continuing as the city and state overhaul the evaluation process.
The Times says it can report the ratings in proper context. Bill Gates, who is obsessed with teacher performance, says shaming teachers isn’t the answer. He also said using test data to rank teachers is very troubling.
It may be in the public interest to share this information. It remains to be seen the fallout hurts the profession or helps the “reformers” realize the error of their ways.
- High Falls is losing its iconic smokestack, the one that says “High Falls.” Rochester Subway reports RG&E is removing the structure. This makes me sad, as it’s such a recognizable feature of the district. Update: RG&E tells 13WHAM News it hasn’t made a final decision on the smokestack, but it’s in very bad shape.
- Bob Lonsberry suggests renaming the Freddie Sue Bridge after Bill Johnson. I always thought giving the bridge a ridiculously long name was foolish. Who the heck calls it the Frederick Douglass Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge? No one! It’s never caught on with the public.
- The Port of Rochester is line for some gentrification. Rochester City Newspaper has a good write-up of what’s in store at the beach with the parking lots.
- We may not call it Kodak Theatre anymore, but Kodak will have a presence at the Oscars. Seven of the nine Best Picture nominees were made on Kodak film.
- Everyone likes a good love story. This one does not disappoint.