Yet the fifth-graders in one classroom at Broadous Elementary School in a low-income neighborhood of Los Angeles, consistently learn more than their peers down the hall. The difference? Their teachers.
For years, evaluating teachers has been as much guesswork as science. But a sophisticated statistical tool known as value-added analysis is making it possible to identify the most effective teachers, allowing their work to be emulated, as well as their less effective colleagues.
Using a database of some 1.5 million student records, the Los Angeles Times has done a value-added analysis of teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
A grant from the Hechinger Institute helped fund the newspaper’s analytical effort.