LA Teacher Evaluations: Talks Between UTLA & LAUSD At An Impasse

In this photo taken Thursday, June 14, 2012, Los Angeles Unified School District LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy tours the di
In this photo taken Thursday, June 14, 2012, Los Angeles Unified School District LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy tours the district in Los Angeles. Developing school leadership is a cornerstone of Deasy's strategy to reform Los Angeles Unified School District and sorting through principals underscores his philosophy that nothing in the sprawling district is too minute to warrant his attention. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Los Angeles Unified has filed a declaration of impasse in its negotiations with UTLA over teacher evaluations, seeking mediation from the state Public Employee Relations Board, officials said Wednesday.

Los Angeles Unified faces a Dec. 4 court-ordered deadline for devising a new job review that uses student scores on standardized state tests to help gauge a teacher's effectiveness.

In ordering the district to comply with the state's Stull Act, which requires the use of the test data, Superior Court Judge James Chalfant said the district must negotiate with its educators' unions on the system.

Superintendent John Deasy announced at the Sept. 11 board meeting that the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles had signed off on a one-year deal allowing test scores to be used in principals' evaluations.

Deasy had hoped to announce a deal with United Teachers Los Angeles at the board's Oct. 9 meeting, but on Oct. 5 said the two sides were not close to an agreement.

UTLA President Warren Fletcher released a statement late Wednesday saying the 40,000-member union was engaged in "good-faith bargaining with LAUSD officials over developing a fair and effective teacher evaluation system.

"We believe we are making progress and that LAUSD's request for impasse was premature. That said, if the state wants to appoint a mediator to help the process along, we welcome that involvement," he said.

Deasy supports a system that uses classroom test scores and demographic data, a complex formula known as Academic Growth over Time. The district is in the second year of a no-stakes pilot program that uses AGT to evaluate a teacher at every school in the district.

UTLA objects to the classroom model, saying it is too volatile. Instead, it wants to use a schoolwide AGT, among other factors.

"As education professionals," Fletcher said, "teachers are eager for our performance to be evaluated in a meaningful way that offers us feedback and support to improve our practice for the benefit of our students.


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