Catherine Camer Purse

A 5th grade teacher at Rosa Parks Learning Center in 2009

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 2002-03 through 2008-09 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.

Overall value-added effectiveness

Math effectiveness

English effectiveness

Compared with other Los Angeles Unified teachers on the value-added measure of test score improvement, Purse ranked:

  • Less effective than average overall.
  • Average in math. Students of teachers in this category, on average, did not gain or lose significantly on the California Standards Test compared with other students at their grade level.
  • Less effective than average in English. Students of teachers in this category, on average, lost about 3 percentile points on the California Standards Test compared with other students at their grade level.

Purse's LAUSD teaching history

2002-03 through 2008-09 academic years

Catherine Purse's Response:

To Whom It May Concern:

I have looked over my results and am very disappointed. In teaching we learn to reflect upon our practices so that we may improve. I take responsibility for these scores (yet also realize this is a unique and limited assessment of my ability)and will try to use this information to improve my practices.

I would however like to add a few details regarding my scores/performance. I do not think they are excuses, but variables that have an impact on student learning and my teaching practices. They should be mentioned.

2004--Burton ES/Sunny Brae Ave ES: My first year of teaching. I was displaced from my original classroom, moved to a new school in October of that year, and opened a new class.

2005 Sunny Brae, Plummer ES, Parthenia ES: I was displaced from Sunny Brae and put into the teaching pool. I taught at three different schools at three different grade levels. Ultimately I was placed at Parthenia ES in a 5th grade class. I taught those students for 12 weeks before they took their CST's.

2006-present--Rosa Parks Learning Center: I was displaced from Parthenia and hired on at a brand new school. We were placed on a temporary campus for the first semester and moved an entire school to a new campus facility over Winter Break. I have had some stability at that school, as I have not been displaced.

I just recently recieved my 2010 CST results. My class scored the second highest in the school. 26/32 students scored Proficient or Advanced in English Language Arts and 25/32 students scored Proficient or Advanced in Math. Some students went up a level or down a level, but overall 75% of my students are "P" or "A" in both academic areas. I believe that is higher than the state average.

Regarding teacher affectiveness, I think it is important to look at another angle--the teacher's contract. I do not beleive in tenure. I believe in effective teachers keeping their jobs and ineffective teachers being let go. How do we measure affectiveness? Apparently the value-added appoach should not be the only measure...maybe part of it. I think there should be a revamping of the policies/laws/contract. There must be a way that teachers can be evaluated in a fair and equitable way, that principals participate in the evaluation but are not the only decision making entity, that struggling teachers have an opportunity to improve their practices and recieve support from their school site/district, AND ineffective teachers ARE LET GO.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond. If you are going to publish my results for all the world to see, I hope you also publish what I have had to say about it.

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.

Do the ratings in this database reflect your experience or your child's experience in the teacher's classroom? Do you believe this is a helpful tool for parents?
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Los Angeles Teacher Ratings, the Los Angeles Times' database of value-added scores for Los Angeles Unified elementary schools and teachers.
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