Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

Two Great Posts On The LA Times “Value-Added” Story


Well, maybe not two great posts.

It’s actually one great post and one terrible one, but the terrible one is worth reading because of the (mostly) great comments.

The great post is A Teacher’s View of the LA Times’ Educators Analysis and comes from Witness LA.

The terrible one is surprising, since it comes from someone who often does good work — John Merrow.  In his post, Proof that teachers matter, he is one of the few people who supports what the LA Times is doing. The comments, though, are absolutely incredible, and are a must-read. Among the great comments, however, there is also one that is very disappointing. In it, Grant Wiggins, the widely-respected education author, also supports the LA Times position. All I can say is “Wow.”

I’m adding both to The Best Posts About The LA Times Article On “Value-Added” Teacher Ratings.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Thanks for the links, Larry. I have become a fan of Dan Willingham, and his comment in the “bad article with good comments” is an good representation of the argument.

    Grant Wiggins has never impressed me. I find him (and his colleague of UBD) to be arrogant and somewhat out of touch with many of the classroom settings. Their work seems to be nothing more than an educational simplification of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Covey. But because they are trying to make a transference they work too hard to make their work sound academic. Just my opinion.

  2. Larry – is the second post really a “terrible” post, or is it just that you disagree with it? Is it poorly argued? Is there truly no merit to it? Has Grant Wiggins suddenly become a fool?

    Or is it possible that the union position is not always correct? That teachers should be held to some type of standards?

    For my money, I think that teachers (and their unions) should be working with those who conduct these types of studies/exposes/whatevers. Unless teachers believe that they are infallible and should never be held accountable, they should want there to be the best possible type of accountability system. Just like the “best” practices in teaching come about as a result of trying and trying and trying something else, so too do different approaches to evaluating teachers need to be tried. If every single time a new system is proposed it is immediately shouted down as being persecutorial, then teachers will continue to make themselves seem distant from those that they teach and those whose taxes pay their salaries.

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