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Media: A Narrow Measure Of Jason Felch

image from profile.ak.fbcdn.netWho is Jason Felch (pictured), the investigative reporter behind the LA Times' controversial series?  A San Francisco native who attended UC Berkeley, Felch contributed to a series of education-related stories over the past year (Bar set low for lifetime job in L.A. schoolsGovernor proposes merit pay for educators). But education's not Felch's beat, as is apparent from yesterday's All Things Considered, in which he makes the outdated assertion that districts know or do nothing to distinguish between high and low classroom performers:

"Schools around the country do nothing to study these highly effective teachers, do nothing to reward them or recognize them...For years, we have known nothing about this." ('L.A. Times' Series Examines Teacher Ratings)

That's no longer the case, I would argue, given the spread of various performance pay and value-added initiatives -- and ignores the key distinction between using the data and broadcasting it publicly. Felch follows WikiLeaks on Twitter and can be reached at jason.felch@latimes.com.

UPDATE:  Felch and Song are scheduled to do a webchat about the story at 11am Pacific.

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From the chat...

[Comment From GuestGuest: ]
Weak Jason. I hang around golf pros and listen to them dissect the game and analyze it. Does that make me a "solid ground" golfer. Crickets.....What are your credentials to judge the teaching profession?? Have you ever taught young students in a school district??

Jason Felch: I thought you'd never ask! Before going into journalism, I taught middle school and high school students. I also founded and ran an after school program for "inner city" kids in San Francisco, and am very familiar with their challenges. My colleague Jason Song has covered the city's schools for years.
Thursday August 19, 2010 11:52 Jason Felch
11:52

Jason Felch claimed that he was a teacher at an urban school before becoming a journalist.

I couldn't find any record of his credential in the CDE data base, so I don't believe that he's telling the truth.

Jason, if you're telling the truth about being a teacher, prove it.

What school did you teach at, and what were your students' test scores?

No response from Mr. Felch. I can only assume his silence means he has no response, and was in fact, lying about his educational experience.

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