First of all, one year's standardized test scores does not even begin to touch a teacher's effectiveness. If, for example, a teacher is an elementary inclusion teacher, up to half of the student's in his/her class could be assigned to the special education teacher. They could then, in fact, be rated according to 10-12 students performances on the test. This is not enough to have a valid test. When is the last time a Scientist did a study with 11 subjects? Furthermore, models show that teachers swing wildly, as much as 53 points from year to year. If they were to take three years of tests, coupled with supervisor's ratings, parent and student feedback, and portfolios, they could begin to rate a teacher's effectiveness. The reason this isn't being done the right way is because of the time and expense.
Now let's talk about the manner in which the information was dispersed. In what other profession are scores or effectiveness printed in the New York Times? If a plumber fails inspection, is his shame posted in the paper? What about when a doctor loses a patient? (barring a scandal). Nurses, Lawyer, Salesmen, Electricians, I can't think of a single other profession that would carry this out in such a manner.
I know this is a political year, and I know that right now teachers are a hot topic. I see that in my state, NJ, there are some 15 or so bills aiming at penalizing teachers in the works. I've been in education long enough to know that when the economy is bad, we are scrutinized. I accept that, it is part of the profession. However, what is going on right now is beyond scrutinization. It is beyond reformation. What we have right now is a modern day witch hunt.
The very last thing I will address is the fact that the United States is going about education reform in the wrong way. In successful countries, countries which are beating us in the PISA testing, teachers are esteemed. In Finland, for example, teachers are as highly regarded as doctors and lawyers. Competition is tough, and only the best are accepted into the profession. And yes, this would mean dismissing our ineffective teachers when intervention strategies don't work. But until we place value on education (and teachers, by default), and change the culture in which we view schools, we will not improve our educational system. One thing is certain, shaming and humiliating those in the field of education is not the solution.