Laura Nancy Mc Cutcheon

A 3rd grade teacher at Menlo Avenue 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.

Overall value-added effectiveness

Math effectiveness

English effectiveness

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

  • Most effective overall.
  • More effective than average in math. Students of teachers in this category, on average, gained about 4 percentile points on the California Standards Test compared with other students at their grade level.
  • Most effective in English. Students of teachers in this category, on average, gained about 7 percentile points on the California Standards Test compared with other students at their grade level.

Mc Cutcheon's LAUSD teaching history

2002-03 through 2008-09 academic years

Laura Mc Cutcheon's Response:

I felt stressed for weeks hearing about the publication of my CST scores as an "absolute" measure of the value I add to my students' education. I felt extremely relieved to see my high scores. However, this does not change my opinion standards based tests should never be the sole measure to evaluate teachers or to provide merit pay. It would take a book like Diane Ravitch's to explain why. Let me provide a few examples. For my upcoming 2010 scores, I had an average of 24 students, but transience changed the students I taught significantly over the year. 8 left my class and 8 new ones joined my class over the year. 1 boy was transferred from a 2nd grade class where he'd been retained into my 3rd grade class in January. Another was transferred to my class from another 3rd Gr. teacher less than 2 months before the CST--a child receiving a majority of his daily instruction from Special Ed. and Intervention teachers, not myself. Yet, their names will appear on my next CST list. At least 3 higher performing students left my class, one a few before the CST, and although they spent most of 3rd Gr. with me, their scores will appear on another teacher's list. I recall a year where 3 students' names with failing scores mistakenly appeared on my list--kids I'd never seen nor had in my classroom. There are so many challenges we teachers face and so much more we do than give tests. Posting only CST scores without in depth investigative reporting of what happens in schools to provide comprehensive and complete data is irresponsible, biased data, and hurts teachers, therefore students. I am against the publishing of CST scores. Laura McCutcheon, a 3rd Grade Teacher (National Board Certified and Bilingual, Multicultural Early Childhood Educator & Teacher Leader, Mentor/ Coach, and Trainer)

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.

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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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