Gretchen Elise Garrett
A 5th grade teacher at Valley View Elementary 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.
Compared with other Los Angeles Unified teachers on the value-added measure of test score improvement, Garrett ranked:
- Less effective than average overall.
- Less effective than average in math. Students of teachers in this category, on average, lost about 4 percentile points on the California Standards Test compared with other students at their grade level.
- Average in English. 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.
Garrett's LAUSD teaching history
2002-03 through 2008-09 academic years
- Valley View Elementary, 2009 - 2003
Gretchen Garrett's Response:
In a stunning pre-emption of the LAUSD, UTLA, Sacramento and, perhaps even the Federal government, the LA Times seems to have relinquished its title to the fourth estate by opting to create controversy rather than to report it.
Ineptly using their California Schools Guide, an egregiously flawed database, under the pretext of public disclosure, they have distorted data and manufactured a climate of distrust and suspicion that has suffused our educational community.
Teetering on the edge of libel and timed to coincide with the start of the traditional school year, one can only wonder - “What were they thinking?” What is the purpose of these posts? Does the Times consider their pie charts and pronouncements to be a public service?
There is already a Uniform Complaint Policy in place to address parental concerns. It is sad to see the defensive posture being adopted by so many excellent teachers because of these faulty interpretations, but you can’t unring a bell. Freedom of the press doesn’t mean whipping parents into a frenzy and then running for cover behind the First Amendment.
Being anti-teacher is also being anti-children. Have not students been bludgeoned enough by budget cuts? Have they not lost enough teachers and programs due to monetary constraints? As long as the Times has abdicated its role as a newspaper, it should be relegated to the bottom of the birdcage.
5/6 Grade Teacher
Valley View Elementary School
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.