About 11,500 Los Angeles Unified elementary school teachers and 470 elementary schools are included in The Times' updated database of "value-added" ratings.
Most third-, fourth- and fifth-grade instructors who taught at any point during the 2004-05 through 2009-10 academic years were given ratings in the Times analysis. Most district elementary schools are included. Test scores for most charter schools were not available.
A teacher's value-added rating is based on his or her students' progress on the California Standards Tests for English and math. The difference between a student's expected growth and actual performance is the "value" a teacher added or subtracted during the year. A school's value-added rating is based on the performance of all students tested there. Small differences in ratings are not statistically significant, particularly for those rated near the average.
Although value-added measures do not capture everything about a teacher or school’s performance, The Times decided to make the ratings available because they bear on the work of public employees who provide an important service, and in the belief that parents and the public have a right to the information.
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