The Los Angeles Times is leading the charge for adoption of Value Added Analysis ("VAA") as the method for evaluating teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The Times recently published the names and VAA ranking of Los Angeles K-12 teachers -- rankings by the degree of progress of the students on standardized tests. Value Added Analysis -- a cynic-making excess of government-speak -- may be useful in some contexts, but its benefits are limited and its dangers are real and profound. This article discusses the genuine damage that was done to teachers whose performance belies the published ranking and the students' scores on the tests. These teachers deserved better.
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