New York Teachers protesting Lay-offs last Year The Mayor of New York is releasing tables to the media, purporting to show how well teachers are doing their job based on test scores in English and Maths 12,500 New York teachers are appearing in the New York media in a ratings table based on statewide test scores. As Aaron Pallas, Professor of Education at Columbia University told the New York Daily News: the tests  "do not measure important contributions a teacher may make to their students in other areas (such as) developing intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, creativity, or being a good citizen.” Not only that but even the New York education department admits that the margin of error for accuracy of the tests -even on their own limited terms - could be huge. Decisions about teachers' pay and tenure will be made according to these tables and worse than that, some teachers are facing the trauma of having their 'performance' level reported in the press, with no redress. The need to evaluate teachers has been promoted amongst others by Bill Gates and Michelle Rhee. However both are apparently against the publication of these results. One educational website, Perdido Street School, suggests that this is because the tables are so obviously wrong that they will bring the whole system of performance tables into disrepute and quotes in corroboration both the New Yorker magazine and the Wall Street Journal - which describes New York parents 'struggling to make sense' of the rankings.  Another website - schools matter - quotes a TED talk given by Gates (KIPP is a chain of charter schools):
"How does that [KIPP school] compare to a normal school? Well, in a normal school teachers aren’t told how good they are. The data isn’t gathered. In the teacher’s contract, it will limit the number of times the principal can come into the classroom—sometimes to once per year. And they need advanced [sic] notice to do that. So imagine running a factory where you’ve got these workers, some of them just making crap, and the management is told, 'Hey, you can only come down here once a year, but you need to let us know, because we might actually fool you, and try to do a good job in that one brief moment.' "
It is telling that Gates compares schools to factories and children presumably to widgets or cars. He has been instrumental in creating Obama's Race to the Top programme - which includes the use of testing to evaluate teachers.