Google Find us on Google+

Long-neglected law on teacher evaluations rises to forefront

Jun 4, 2013 by

By Ashly McGlone

LOS ANGELES – The road to an agreement on teacher evaluations has been a long and costly one that is not yet finished. But recent litigation has put the Los Angeles Unified School District on a fast track.

The spotlight on teacher evaluations widened last June when Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Chalfant ruled that the district was violating California’s longstanding teacher evaluation law, the Stull Act, by not ensuring test scores were used.

The 1971 law, signed by then-Gov. Ronald Reagan and named after a former Republican lawmaker, requires student achievement to be included in teacher evaluations – something Los Angeles Unified, and most districts, resisted for decades. Some districts found they didn’t need to fully comply with the Stull Act to receive millions of dollars from the state designated for linking teacher evaluations to student achievement.

Melrose Elementary teachers and its principal, Bernadette Lucas, took part in Los Angeles Unified School District’s pilot teacher evaluation program, which factored in student achievement to determine teacher effectiveness. Credit: Carlos A. Moreno / The Center for Investigative Reporting

Melrose Elementary teachers and its principal, Bernadette Lucas, took part in Los Angeles Unified School District’s pilot teacher evaluation program, which factored in student achievement to determine teacher effectiveness.


Credit: Carlos A. Moreno / The Center for Investigative Reporting

The law was amended in 1999 under Gov. Gray Davis, requiring school boards to evaluate teachers based on state test scores as they “reasonably relate” to a teacher’s classroom performance, a vague term that effectively made it easy for districts to avoid the law.

Now, the little-known Stull Act is having its day after more than 40 years of virtual neglect.

The recent case, Doe v. Deasy, was filed in 2010 by several students in the district and sponsored by EdVoice, the nonprofit education reform group backed by billionaire Eli Broad, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Richard Merkin, CEO of the Heritage Provider Network, among others.

Chalfant ordered the district to negotiate the terms of test score use with the teachers’ union. All told, the case and bargaining have cost the district more than $418,000 in legal bills to date, district officials said, not including $550,000 in attorney’s fees paid to the plaintiffs.

via Long-neglected law on teacher evaluations rises to forefront | Hechinger Report.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Related Posts

Tags

Share This

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

UA-24036587-1