An L.A. Unified roadmap

November 30, 2012

Original editorial at the Los Angeles Times

There are big differences in how well Los Angeles' teachers help their students learn, a new study shows — bigger variations than in other districts, where teaching quality appears more even. The study also indicates that teachers in the L.A. Unified School District who receive advanced degrees aren't more effective than others, but those with national board certification are. The district's program for training teachers, pulling mostly from classroom aides, produces more effective teachers than those who come from traditional teacher colleges, and they're much more likely to stay with the district than recruits from the prestigious Teach for America organization.

This six-year study of L.A. Unified depends on reliable, robust test data — using it to measure classifications of teachers rather than individuals — to provide a wealth of sometimes surprising information on how to recruit, assign, pay and, when necessary, lay off teachers in ways that help students most.

To read the entire editorial, visit the Los Angeles Times.

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