Strategic Data Project Study Featured in L.A. Times, Huffington Post

3 December 2012

Strategic Data Project Study Featured in L.A. Times, Huffington Post

Inexperienced teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District are more likely to be assigned to lower-performing math students, according to a new study by The Strategic Data Project (SDP), an Activate ED partner.

SDP’s findings were featured in a flurry of media attention over the last month, including the L.A. Times, the Huffington Post, EdSource and Education Week, as L.A. Unified announced that it sees the study’s findings as “a call to action.”

The disproportionate assigning of newer teachers to students who are, on average, six months behind their peers in math is perpetuating the achievement gap, the study shows.

Among the SDP’s other top findings:

  • Teachers in the L.A. Unified district demonstrate varying degrees of effectiveness, with the highest performing teachers giving students the equivalent of eight extra months of learning in a year compared with lower performing teachers.
  • Teachers with advance degrees were no more effective than those without.
  • Teacher performance after two years tends to be an accurate predictor of future effectiveness.
  • The performance of math teachers improves quickly in the first five years of teaching, then levels off.

The study analyzed the performance of about 30 percent of L.A. Unified teachers, and findings were based mostly on students’ standardized math test scores. 

Read the full report here.