Board Preview: Charters, Dismissals, Tenure
Hillel Aron | January 11, 2013
The Tuesday, January 15 board meeting promises to be even longer than usual, as it is packed with no less than 20 votes on various charter school issues and a slew of other controversial issues.
For example, Board Members Tamar Galatzan and Nury Martinez are scheduled to propose a resolution related to speedy dismissal of teachers accused of misdeeds. And a revised version of Board Member Steve Zimmer’s proposal to reject the use of Academic Growth over Time as the sole measurement of pupil progress is back on the agenda. Last but not least, there’s Marguerite LaMotte’s proposal to term limit school board Presidents, about which we told you yesterday.
Read below for more details, or check out the full agenda here.
Charters must be approved by the school board and last for five years. Eight of the charter votes are about new schools, two are proposed amendments to existing charters, and 10 are proposed renewals. The charter schools division is recommending the denial of two: Extera Public School No. 2 (a proposed new charter) and North Valley Charter Academy (a proposed renewal).
The Galatzan and Martinez resolution is in support State Senator Alex Padilla’s bill, SB 10, which would “expedite the dismissal process for certificated public school employees in cases involving sex, drugs, or violence involving children.” That’s that bill that got held up in an Assembly subcommittee after a few Democrats, including Betsy Butler, didn’t show up to vote on it (see: Why California Democrats Protect Sex Abuser Teachers). It is likely to come up again this year.
Despite the fact that the district has already signed a tentative agreement with UTLA, the latest version of Zimmer’s proposal — the “Commitment to Honor Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century” — is back on the agenda and has acquired a new sub-proposal: to confirm “the importance of the tenure process as a significant first career milestone that should reflect particular benchmark indicators that measure progress towards skill mastery and professional growth.”
Last but not least, there’s Marguerite LaMotte’s proposal to limit the term of school board President to two consecutive years, scheduled to be introduced in the morning and voted on in the afternoon, although these controversial proposals have often been postponed in recent board meetings.