'Los Angeles Times' Education Rankings Anger Teachers, Unions : The Two-Way After the 'Los Angeles Times' decided to publish value-added rankings of teachers and schools in Los Angeles, unions got upset.

'Los Angeles Times' Education Rankings Anger Teachers, Unions

Los Angeles teachers block traffic during a protest against budget cuts outside the Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters last year. Robyn Beck/AFP hide caption

toggle caption
Robyn Beck/AFP

As part of an investigative series, "Grading the Teachers: Value-Added Analysis," the Los Angeles Times published "a database of about 6,000 third- through fifth-grade [Los Angeles Unified School District] teachers ranked by their effectiveness in raising student test scores."

Parents can search for their child's teacher or school, or browse the "top 100 value-added teachers," sorted alphabetically," or see a list of the "top value-added schools."

(For an explanation of the newspaper's methodology, to understand what "value-added means," click here.)

Many teachers are unhappy with the analysis. Several teachers unions, including the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and United Teachers Los Angeles, criticized the Times.

On ABC's This Week with Christiane Amanpour, Randi Weingarten, president of the AFT, said "we're all trying to figure out how to make teaching -- which has always been an art -- into an art and a science, which is why data is really important."

But what the L.A. Times did is they used this data, which is unreliable and is basically a prediction and an assumption, they used it in isolation of everything else. And so we said, let the teachers see it, let them use it. In fact, they are starting to do that in L.A., but don't publish it in this way.