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Is It Foilable?

You’re probably tired of reading about value added analysis, but I just can’t figure a couple of things out.

A couple of weeks ago on All Things Considered, host Robert Siegel interviewed Donald Martin, superintendent of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth Country School District in North Carolina.    You can listen to the whole interview (below) and if you missed it, it’s probably worth your time. 

Martin explains that the school district has been using value added analysis for the past three years to evaluate teachers.  (The district uses other types of evaluation as well).

But something that the superintendent said still puzzles me.

Martin:  I will say that our state board of education, I think, very wisely passed a policy that says that information [value added analysis] is exactly like the teacher evaluation instrument that we would have in a person’s … permanent record file.

Siegel:  And therefore it’s not public information?

Martin:  It is not public information in North Carolina.  It is treated as your evaluation document and it is confidential information.

I would have thought that standardized test scores would be a matter of public record and therefore available under the federal Freedom of Information Act.  A teacher’s own personal test scores (SATs, for example) would be confidential, but wouldn’t parents (or anyone) have the right to see general test results from a teacher’s students?  Can anyone enlighten me on this?

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