Melanie Podley

A 5th grade teacher at Ranchito 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, Podley ranked:

  • 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.

Podley's LAUSD teaching history

2002-03 through 2008-09 academic years

Melanie Podley's Response:

I wish I'd had access to this type of data my very first year of teaching. We give students scores to let them know how they rank and where they need to improve. Maybe it's time teachers are given the same. I can't wait for future articles from the Times analyzing what may separate me, an "average" teacher, from an extremely effective one. It's sad that teachers have had to wait for information like this from a newspaper, rather than getting it from our district much sooner. No one likes to learn of their own shortcomings, but it's hard to improve if you don't even know where you stand.

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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About the Data Desk

This page was created by the Data Desk, a team of reporters and Web developers at The Times.