The LA Times has been running a story based on new data that has shaken up how schools are assessed in the city. Until now, parents have used overall school test results to assess the quality of teaching at local schools, which reflects the circumstances of the parents more than it does the quality of the teaching. The LA Times obtained data on test scores from 600,000 students between 2002 and 2009, allowing it to calculate „value added“ scores, or a measure of the progress students have made between different stages of education. This analysis shows that some schools have improved the academic achievement of its students at a greater rate than other, more respected schools. Although there have been questions raised about the methodology behind the analysis, it’s still a great example of how new and previously unseen data can add a different perspective on a subject that affects everyone’s life.
LA Times Grading Teachers: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/teachers-investigation/