LA Times Value-Added Reporters: Where Are They Now

In two of my older posts (here and here), I wrote about the Los Angeles Times and its controversial move to solicit Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) students’ test scores via an open-records request, calculate LAUSD teachers’ value-added scores themselves, and then publish thousands of LAUSD teachers’ value-added scores along with their “effectiveness” classifications on their Los Angeles Teacher Ratings website. They did this, repeatedly, since 2010, and they did this all despite the major research-based issues surrounding teachers’ value-added estimates (that hopefully followers of this blog know at least somewhat well).

This is also of frustration for me since the authors of the initial articles (Jason Strong and Jason Felch) contacted me back in 2011 regarding whether what they were doing was appropriate, valid, and fair. Despite about one hour’s worth of strong warnings against doing so, Felch and Song thanked me for my time and moved forward regardless. See also others’ concerns about them doing this here, here, here, and here, for example.

Well, Jason Strong now works as communications director for Eli Broad’s Great Public Schools Now, which has as its primary goal to grow charter schools and get 50% of LA students into charters (see here). Jason Felch was fired in 2014 for writing a story about unreported sexual assault violations at Occidental College, and having an “inappropriate relationship” with a source for this story (see here).

So Jason Song and Jason Felch humiliated thousands of LA teachers and possibly contributed to the suicide of one, fifth grade teacher Rigoberto Ruelas, who jumped off a bridge after they publicly labeled him mediocre.

What goes around, comes around…

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