Value-added model scores for teachers: some disturbing scatterplots. Gary Rubinstein finds a lot of noise and very little signal in the VAM scores of 18,000 New York teachers, recently released by the Bloomberg administration under a Freedom of Information Act Request. (VAM previously on MetaFilter.)
Black and White and Hebrew All Over. The Village Voice profiles the Hebrew Language Academy, a dual-language charter school in Brooklyn. Is it a rare success story for the big-city ideal of educational innovation simultaneously serving rich and poor communities? A clever way for Jewish New Yorkers to get their kids Hebrew instruction on the states's dime? A little of both?
Voting has now closed in the NYC BigApps Challenge, a $20,000 contest to produce amusing, interesting, or even useful apps using the information in the NYC DataMine. Browse the eligible submissions here. Some highlights: Taxihack: collects e-mailed and tweeted comments on NYC cabs, by medallion or license number. Clean.ly: Did the restaurant across the street pass its last health inspection? Walkshed: You tell Walkshed what kind of amenities you'd like to be within walking distance of, and the app makes you a heat map showing your most walkable neighborhoods. SmartPark: Locates nearby garages and collects social information about available street parking. Buzzes you when it's time to move your car. Trees Near You: Does what it says on the box. (via Indirect Collaboration.)