View Full Version : All LA Metro Judge backs using student achievement to evaluate L.A. teachers

06-12-2012, 11:19 AM
From L.A. Times (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teacher-evals-20120612,0,2026996.story) by Teresa Watanabe:

In a tentative ruling that could potentially transform California teacher evaluations, the Los Angeles Unified School District was ordered Monday to use students' academic achievement in reviewing instructors.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant upheld contentions by a group of Los Angeles parents that the district was violating a 40-year-old state law, known as the Stull Act, which requires that teacher evaluations include measures of how well pupils are learning what the state and district expects them to know each year. The law was amended in 1999 to specifically require the use of state standardized test scores as one measure.

Chalfant said the law required the district to use California standardized test scores to determine how well students have mastered state-required material. But he gave the district wide discretion in how to measure pupil progress in meeting its own local academic expectations. Which specific measures are used, how they are incorporated into performance reviews, how the different elements are weighted and how administrators are trained in using them "may well be a matter subject to collective bargaining," he wrote.

The ruling, while preliminary, lends significant legal clout to a growing movement to use students' test scores as part of a teacher's performance review. Several states have begun incorporating them into teachers' reviews and the Obama administration is also pushing school districts to use them.

Bill Lucia, president of EdVoice, a Sacramento-based educational advocacy group that brought the lawsuit on behalf of the unidentified parents, said the ruling would clear the way for more effective evaluations that will help students and struggling staff.

"It's more likely we'll be able to identify struggling staff members and give them the help they need to improve," he said. "This will be better for kids."

Warren Fletcher, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, reiterated the union's opposition to using test scores in performance reviews and said any changes in the evaluation system needed to be negotiated.

read more>> (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teacher-evals-20120612,0,2026996.story)