School District Introduces 'Value Added' Ratings

L.A. school district introduces new formula for evaluating academic achievement and teacher effectiveness.

The Los Angeles Unified School District has a new way to measure a school's success at raising students' performance. This new method looks at how much students improve on a year-to-year basis, rather than measuring them solely on their achievement level.

This so called "value-added" formula for analyzing test scores could also be one of several ways to evaluate the performance of teachers and principals. Parents can see the school ratings for elementary and middle schools in math and English on the LAUSD website.

A.J. Duffy, the outgoing head of the teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles, issued a written statement raising concerns about the use of test scores to evaluate a teacher's performance.

"People want to use something as simple as a test score to fire people," said Duffy.

But at a school board briefing Tuesday, incoming schools Superintendent John Deasy said, "This will help us identify good practices; it will help everyone get better and will allow us to have quality control."

A partial look at the ratings for elementary and middle schools in Sherman Oaks can be found in the chart below. The results reported here measure a school's impact on the academic growth of students for English language arts and math.

If you would like to see the ratings for individual grade levels and other demographic data at any of these four schools in Sherman Oaks, you can consult the LAUSD website.

In reviewing these numerical scores, be aware the district average has been set at 3.0. The right-hand column provides the Academic Performance Index (API) score for the past year, which focuses on students' achievement levels. The new formula looks at progress made by students when compared to their prior performance.

Principals at the schools in Sherman Oaks were unavailable to comment on this report.



2007-2010 School-Level Academic Growth in English

2007-2010 School-Level Academic Growth in Math

2010 API Score

Sherman Oaks Elementary

2.1 (Below District Average)

2.4 (Below District Average)


Dixie Canyon Elementary

3.3 (Above District Average)

2.9 (About Average for District)



Riverside Elementary

2.8 (Above District Average)

2.7 (Below District Average)


Millikan Middle School

2.7 (Below District Average)

3.6 (Above District Average)



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