The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Los Angeles:
Ranking Teachers—To Attack Education!

Sep 13, 2010

The Los Angeles Times has put a rating list of 6,000 L.A. elementary school teachers on the Internet. The newspaper has ranked the teachers on a scale between “most effective” and “least effective”–where “effectiveness” is measured by students’ yearly state test scores in English and math.

The Times’ ratings are nothing but a vile, dishonest attack on teachers–and on the children they teach.

All the experts agree that testing is not a valid way to assess the effectiveness of individual teachers, or to determine classroom priorities and curriculum. Even the government’s own experts have shown this.

Focusing on tests to attack the teachers is worse than ineffective. It’s an excuse to get rid of more experienced, higher paid teachers and replace them with new, lower-paid teachers–in other words, to spend less money. By pushing this, the Times is simply serving up the justification to starve needy schools of even more money.

It’s disgusting. The L.A. Times–controlled by Sam Zell, a Chicago real estate speculator and multibillionaire–should just come out and say it: they don’t WANT to educate the children of the poor and working class!