This is the kind of argument that politicians will never understand. Too many actually believe that this will be an effective tool against the large number of incompetent teachers in the public education system.
Except that there aren't that many incompetent teachers in the system and I would suggest not continuing to perpetuate the myth that there are.
When teacher ratings were released in Los Angeles it showed that the vast majority of teachers are average. Incompetence is not the major problem in education, it's mediocrity. And mediocrity has a lot more to do with the system of education than the teachers in that system.
All I can say is I am glad I don't teach in NYC. I hope no other district chooses to incorporate this harebrained system. I read Bill Gates' editorial and was pleased he was against this idea as well.
Everyone says we are professionals, why not treat us like professionals? I recently read about a system used in Maryland where teachers were evaluated by a board consisting of other teachers much like doctors and other professionals have. I would prefer something like that...
The reason we teach is because we care. As far as ratings, not all teachers are treated fairly. In my school not every teacher is teaching At Risk students. Not all classes are treated equally. Not every teachers is provided the same resources as their coworkers. So, how do you measure the inequalities?
This is a Catch-22 because publishing teacher scores is a form of public accountability in education. I think there is some value in publishing scores, but wish those publishing would educate the public more about the criteria used to determine teacher effectiveness and impact. Teachers are, after all, the greatest lever in student achievement.