We are in the age of Big Data, according to a report by the consulting firm McKinsey & Company. The growing troves of data in public and private hands will, according to McKinsey, create greater transparency, drive innovation, and reshape markets and government services. Recent Big Data debates around Google's privacy policies and the Facebook IPO will become more pronounced in the future as the capacity of private firms and governments to collect and analyze large data sets grows.
Today the performance evaluation information on scores of teachers in New York City was released after much debate in the media and court challenges. This is part of a larger conversation about how to improve the performance of the city's public schools. Some have questioned the methodology used to derive the scores for each teacher and the efficacy of releasing individual teacher data as a way to motivate change. On the other side, the Department of Education and others views this as a way to promote transparency and accountability.
You can read more about the teacher ratings on the NY Times School Book site.