Jenin V. Vergara
A 5th grade teacher at Sunny Brae Avenue Elementary in 2008
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, Vergara 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.
Vergara's LAUSD teaching history
2002-03 through 2008-09 academic years
- Sunny Brae Avenue Elementary, 2008 - 2005
Jenin Vergara's Response:
Just wanted to say a couple things:
1) Half of the students in my 2007 - 2008 5th grade class were from my 2006 - 2007 4th grade class (I taught 4th grade for three years prior to moving up to 5th grade). I am interested to see my value-added rating from those school years, too, but the 2006 - 2007 school year in particular.
2) During the 2007 - 2008 school year, I was the STAR Testing Coordinator at Sunny Brae. I also served on the School Leadership Council, the Library Leadership Committee, the District-School Leadership Team (in accordance with NCLB/Program Improvement requirements), and as a grade-level chairperson. I mention this only because many teachers have a few, if not several, adjunct duties beyond the daily teaching responsibilities. While I enjoyed these extra responsibilities, I know that they took away from my teaching and dedication to my students.
3) I was actually not too surprised to learn of my value-added ratings. I will be the first to admit that I was more comfortable teaching Math than Language Arts - we certainly spent more time on Math than any other subject. Plus, the Language Arts curriculum we were using at the time was the 2000 edition of SRA/Open Court Reading, which by now is ten years old. I wonder how much more interesting/engaging/relevant a newer, more recent edition would be for both the students and the teachers.
Anyway, this whole series of articles has been fascinating to me. I may be in the minority, but I think the data and value-added ratings should be made public. As teachers, we are employees of the state and should be held accountable to the taxpayers that give us our salaries. I was always very open and honest with my students (and their parents) about all of their test scores, may they be from the CST or from the quarterly math assessments, Open Court unit assessments, quizzes, etc. They're not secret and they affect the students just as much as they affect the teachers. I would always tell my students that the test results let me know what I taught well, what I needed to teach again, and what I needed to teach better or differently. The test results let them know how they were learning, what they understood the best, and what they still needed to review. Why shouldn't the parents and the public know this, too?
*Disclaimer: I no longer teach in the LAUSD. In fact, I resigned at the end of the 2007 - 2008 school year after five consecutive years at Sunny Brae Avenue ES. I have not taught since the 2008 - 2009 school year as I chose to pursue a Masters and credential full-time. Right now, my husband and I are expecting our first child. I do not expect to teach in LAUSD (or any other district) any time soon, but of course am still interested in all things education.
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.