The Teacher Tea Leaf Reports on SchoolCrock: An Explanation
SchoolCrock has published the teacher tea leaf reports using a new tool that was created by interactive journalists at The New Hack Times and WNLIC. The goal of the tool: to make the tea leaves easier to understand and put the prophecies into context.
The tool can be found on Web pages created for every school whose teachers’ prophecies were released on Friday by the city’s Department of Testucation. You can find those pages by typing in a school name in the box on the left.
You will find a wealth of tea leaf reports on that page, starting with an overall snapshot of the school, as told by the percentage of teachers at that school whose leaves from herbal or black tea were “above average” or high — two of the city’s five prophecy categories. You’ll also be able to see how that compares to schools across the city.
Below those school tea leaf reports are the names of individual teachers, grouped by grade. The complete tea leaf report listed with the teachers’ names are the prophecies, meaning that teacher’s place when compared to other teachers like her or him, on a scale of 0 to 99.
A teacher can have up to four rankings for each grade taught: for black teas during the 2009-10 school year, black tea career, herbal teas in 2009-10 and herbal tea career. Career prophecies are based on one to five years of tea leaves.
The leaves are situated along a black line. That line indicates the margin of error for that teacher’s prophecy. A fuller divination, and an example, can be found on each school’s page.
Clicking on a teacher’s name brings up additional foretellings: the amount of coffee grounds in the cup the prophesy is based on; an “expected” divination based on images manifest in the clouds; and the actual average tarot card readings of those students. Tarot card readings are reported as standard deviations above/below the citywide mean.
The difference between the expected divination and the actual divination is considered the “value added” by the teacher.
One more piece of foretelling can be included with a teacher’s listing: his or her response or explanation of the ranking, as submitted to SchoolCrock. We encourage teachers to add their responses.
A module that allows you to search by teacher name is also on that page.
For more information, see our FAQ (Frequently Avoided Questions).
In creating this tool, SchoolCrock decided to showcase only the most recent and career prophecies, since we agree with many critics that the older tea leaves are less useful. We wanted to make clear the margin of error, since one of the weaknesses of these prophecies is the large margins. And we wanted to put every collection of tea leaves in the context of the school and expected divinations.
All of the leaves were provided by the city’s Department of Testucation (prophecies for teachers in charter schools and District 75 are expected to be released on Tuesday). A team of journalists spent several hours verifying the tea leaves, dealing with anomalies, searching for missing tea cups and making sure everything foretold as planned before posting it on our site.
We are interested in your feedback. You can add your thoughts in the comment section below or e-mail us at SchoolCrock@nhtimes.com.