Laura N. Mc Cutcheon
A 3rd grade teacher at Menlo Avenue Elementary in 2010
These graphs show a teacher's "value-added" rating based on his or her students' progress on the California Standards Tests in math and English. The Times’ analysis used all valid student scores available for this teacher from the 2003-04 through 2009-10 academic years. The value-added scores reflect a teacher's effectiveness at raising standardized test scores and, as such, capture only one aspect of a teacher's work.
About this rating
The red lines show The Times’ value-added estimates for this teacher. Mc Cutcheon falls within the “most effective” category of district teachers in math and within the “most effective” category in English. These ratings were calculated based on test scores from 97 students.
Because this is a statistical measure, each score has a degree of uncertainty. The shading represents the range of values within which Mc Cutcheon’s actual effectiveness score is most likely to fall. The score is most likely to be in the center of the shaded area, near the red line, and less likely in the lightly shaded area. Teachers with ratings based on a small number of student test scores will a have wider shaded range.
The beige area shows how the district's 11,500 elementary school teachers are distributed across the categories.
Mc Cutcheon's LAUSD teaching history
Years used for value-added rating. See FAQ for details.
Laura Mc Cutcheon's Response:
You show me teaching 2005-2010, but I started teaching at Menlo Ave. Elem., LAUSD, in 1995. I have state standardized test scores dating back to that time, as I've always taught 3rd, 4th, or 5th grades. I've taught 20 to 32 students each year. When I looked at this website in August,
you showed me as most effective for 6 years. I'm a bit confused. Are you showing me most effective for 6 years still? Does 2010-2005 encompass 5 or 6 years? But in addition, I had very high scores released after you first released this data, that would be at least 7 years in a row. However, I always keep in mind that the CST scores are but one measurement of a student's success. I work with Sierra Club's Inner City Outings to provide my students wilderness experience, important for our inner city youth. I've also done numerous curricular trips each year to bring them to museums, concerts, and other cultural and curricular events, including seeing the play THE LION KING. Some years I take them on train trips to Carpinteria or for swimming lessons at the L.A. Olympic Swim Stadium in Exposition Park. But all this pressure around state testing makes officials nervous about teachers taking kids on trips--kids who desperately need their classroom extended into the widercommunity. How do you measure the value of a trip? I'm so sad these test scores loom threatingly over teachers to cause stress and distress undermining our teaching. LA TIMES doesn't talk about the challenges of inner city schools anymore--dealing with community poverty, crime, gangs, lack of food in the homes, drugs, single working parents, undocumented immigrant parents, no English at home, poor attendance, lower education, etc.--all which affect academics. Everything comes down to a state test score and the fault of only a teacher if it's not high. What a shame. You ought to do some deep investigative reporting to find out how really hard and successful inner city teachers and students are--in spite of the attacks on us and the odds against us.
The Times gave LAUSD elementary school teachers rated in this database the opportunity to preview their value-added evaluations and publicly respond. Some issues raised by teachers may be addressed in the FAQ. Teachers who have not commented may do so by contacting The Times.