A 3rd grade teacher at Florence Avenue Elementary in 2006
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. Mercado falls within the “average” category of district teachers in math and within the “less effective than average” category in English. These ratings were calculated based on test scores from 33 students.
Because this is a statistical measure, each score has a degree of uncertainty. The shading represents the range of values within which Mercado’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.
Mercado's LAUSD teaching history
Years used for value-added rating. See FAQ for details.
Vicente Mercado's Response:
This is an example of how inaccurate the value added evaluation can be. It does not take many realities into account, such as language ability, motivation, behavior, and parental support. I did have wonderful children and parents, but at the same time had a challenging class. It included all the third grade’s track A severe discipline problems, some of which were cross tracked, both LEPs and EOs; recent arrivals and other students with very low ELD levels; more than half of the class were at the below basic and far below basic score at the beginning of the year. The then administrator goes around boasting around the state about the gains the school made under him. It was simple, he took the majority of the advanced, proficient, and high basic scoring students in each grade level, placed them with his cronies, the most challenging students were placed with teachers he did not like -mostly veteran teachers at the top of the pay scale. As a farewell gift to the district, he encouraged all the top fifth graders to transfer to a charter school, most did.
The discrepancies between the english and the math scores had to do with the language issue. Math computation can be done in any language, and there are key vocabulary words that trigger the type of computation needed. I worked my tail off.
I left the area, but some time later it was reported that the FBI, ATF, DEA, L.A. County Sheriffs Department, LAPD, and several small town police departments joined forces against the local gang. It took all those agencies to deal with the environment many students came from. All the teachers in the schools in the area deserve praise and encouragement for facing daily the effects that violence, crime, poverty and other society’s ills have on children. Unlike law enforcement, their only protection and weapons are dry erase markers, chalk, patience, positive reinforcement, and a smile. STOP PICKING ON TEACHERS until you know what is like to be one.
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.