Breaking News: Test Scores to Be Used in Teacher Evaluations

Supt. John Deasy

A tentative but potentially historic agreement was reached late Friday, November 30 between LAUSD and UTLA that will define how teachers are evaluated in the second largest school district in country. The agreement includes the use of individual student test scores as a part of the review process – a measurement that has been championed by Superintendent John Deasy and consistently opposed by the teachers union.

According to a press release issued by LAUSD, “Measures of student achievement are not the primary or controlling factor, but they are significant, and beginning immediately, will be incorporated.” The court-ordered negotiation, which started in July, recently gained urgency as it faced the December 4 deadline.

To read LAUSD’s full press release, click here.

Update: LAUSD’s big concession to UTLA is one that would please board member Steve Zimmer – the district will not use individual Academic Growth of Time scores in teacher evaluations; it will use only school-wide AGT scores.

“We are pleased to announce the agreement rejects the use of individual AGT (Academic Growth Over Time) scores as part of a teacher’s final evaluation,” said UTLA President Warren Fletcher in a press release. “This is significant because these scores have been found to be an unreliable method of measuring a teacher’s effectiveness.” (Read the full press release here.)

Evaluations will, however, use raw scores from students’ California Standards Tests (CST), arguably as tough a measure. It’s unclear how much weight the CSTs will carry in the mix, although the LA Times is reporting that it will be less than 50%. The evaluations will use a panoply of other metrics, including ‘robust’ classroom observation, A-G course enrollment, graduation rates, dropout rates, Advanced Placement course enrollment, and California High School Exit Exam passage rates.

The Daily News has posted an outline of the agreement.

Previous posts: Teacher Talks: What Happens If They Can’t Agree?, Mediator Named in Deadlock Over Teacher Evaluations, Conflicting Reports On Evaluation Negotiations

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