Thursday, November 18, 2010


Now, in the fall of 2010, the NYC DOE is deciding whether or not to publish “value added” teacher data reports as Los Angeles did at the end of August 2010. Maybe they didn’t read the article from The Los Angeles Times on September 27th, 2010 that said:

“A teacher whose body was found underneath a bridge in the Angeles National Forest appears to have committed suicide…. The body of Rigoberto Ruelas was found Sunday morning around the Big Tujunga Canyon area in the Angeles National Forest, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.”

“Ruelas' death stunned students and teachers at Miramonte Elementary School in South L.A., where he was described as a popular and energetic teacher….‘You were an example for each one of your students and a friend for all," a hand-painted banner said in Spanish. "R.I.P. Mr. Ruelas.’”

“KABC-TV Channel 7 quoted family members as saying that Ruelas was distraught about scoring low in a teacher-rating database recently made public by The [LA] Times. He had been missing since Sept. 22. South Gate Police Officer Tony Mendez told KCAL-TV Channel 9 that Ruelas was unhappy at his database ranking. In the database, Ruelas is listed as "’less effective than average overall.’ He rated "less effective" in math and "average" in English.”

What an incredible tragedy. Mr. Ruelas reaction was, of course, extreme, but how would anyone react to that kind of public scrutiny? Why is it that teachers, of all people, can be treated to that type of public humiliation?

What is interesting is the comment made by Los Angeles School Chief Ramon C. Cortines made after Mr. Ruelas’s death. He said, "Mr. Ruelas was a passionate and caring teacher, who put his students first. He made a difference in the lives of so many in his classroom, and by staying after the bell rang to tutor students."

Not good enough to get a decent rating, I guess.

“Funny the way it is.”

1 comment:

  1. What a tragedy! Seems to me, the students had a better handle on who Mr. Ruelas was and how his passion translated.