From the desk of Stephen Cabot:
The Los Angeles Times recently published a data base that evaluated 6,000 teachers. The evaluation is based upon how well students scored on standardized tests. Parents, as one might have expected, were grateful to read the results, but were also extremely disappointed, for only 40.6% of high school students in LA graduate from high school. That’s the second worst rate in the country. California now spends 40% of its budget on education, which translates to $30,000 per student, per year. Such a bad return on investment at any American corporation would result in the firing of its CFO, CEO, and president. In California, however, no more than 2% of teachers are denied tenure.
So, it’s not surprising that the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and the local union, The United Teachers of Los Angeles, are angry about the publication of deplorable results by the Times. Randi Weingarten, president of the AFT, went on ABC News to decry the report and voice her union’s support of teachers. The local union is planning a protest at the offices of The Los Angeles Times.
The unions representing teachers do not appreciate the publication of embarrassing facts, but that does not give them the right to assail the freedom of the Times to publish. Instead of being blindly devoted to maintaining full employment for teachers, the unions should be devoted to the successful education of students. But, as one might have suspected, teacher evaluations are not based on how much students learn.