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LAUSD To Rate Teachers Based on Students' Test Performance

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LAUSD took to the streets in protest in January. Photo by bryanvillarin via LAist Featured Photos

LAUSD took to the streets in protest in January. Photo by bryanvillarin via LAist Featured Photos
A new "value-added" teacher evaluation method is in the works for LAUSD and two contracts, totaling $4.5 million, have been awarded to look at the best ways to evaluate teachers based on the test performance of their students from year-to-year and to establish "best-practices" for teachers. The proposed method has been deemed unfair by some union and education leaders, but Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, President Barack Obama and others have given it the thumbs up.Advocates for the program, like LAUSD board member Yolie Flores, believe it will provide schools with a "fair and robust evaluation for teachers, principals and other key personnel" and will finally allow LAUSD to put a "stake in the ground that quality teaching matters." Proponents argue there is no proof among education experts that using student test scores to evaluate teacher performance is an effective way to increase the quality of teaching in our schools.

This news comes after the controversial teacher evaluation database published by the LA Times sparked protests and boycotts and has many questioning the need to spend $4.5 million when the district faces significant budget shortfalls, teacher layoffs and when LAUSD teachers and principals already agreed to create a new evaluation system on their own at no cost. District officials have noted that the two new contracts will be paid for by federal funds designated for "professional development" and as such, can't be used for hiring back teachers who lost their jobs in recent staff cuts.

The proposed overhaul of teacher evaluations won't be a done deal until LAUSD reaches agreements with teacher and administration unions.