New L.A. Teachers Too Often Placed with Neediest Students, Study Finds

November 16, 2012

The Strategic Data Project Human Capital Diagnostic for the Los Angeles Unified School District is featured in the following Los Angeles Times article. 

A new study has found that inexperienced teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District are disproportionately more likely to be assigned to lower-performing math students, perpetuating the achievement gap.

The study also found that L.A. Unified teachers “vary substantially” in their effectiveness, with top teachers able to give students the equivalent of eight additional months of learning in a year compared with weaker instructors.

Such findings raise “deep concerns,” said Drew Furedi, the district’s executive director of talent management who oversees teacher training. “For us, it’s a call to action.”

The study by the Strategic Data Project, which is affiliated with Harvard University’s Center for Education Policy Research, analyzed the performance of about 30% of L.A. Unified teachers based primarily on their students’ standardized math test scores from 2005 through 2011 in grades three through eight.  The study stressed that test scores were only one measure of teacher effectiveness.


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