Thursday, June 04, 2015


From the Associated Administrators Los Angeles (AALA) Weekly Update for June 8, 2015  ::

●● NOTE:
  • The Association of California School Administrators (ASCA) was established in 1971. ACSA is the largest umbrella organization for school leaders in the nation, serving more than 14,500 school leaders.
  • The Associated Administrators of Los Angeles (AALA) was formed in 1981 when elementary, secondary, supervisory and adult administrators joined forces to form a single association to represent all middle managers in the Los Angeles Unified School District. During the first ten years membership in AALA was voluntary. In 1991 AALA became the exclusive bargaining unit representing all certificated middle managers except confidential and personal service contract senior staff.
  • ACSA is a statewide advocacy organization; AALA is a collective bargaining unit in LAUSD. The two are not affiliated, though many LAUSD administrators are members of both.

June 4, 2015  ::  ACSA, the Association of California School Administrators, has taken a position of opposing AB 575 (Senator Carol Liu-D) and SB 499 (Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell-D) which are scheduled to be heard on the Senate or Assembly Floor no later than Friday, June 5. The identical bills are likely to be merged and will repeal the existing Stull Act of 1971 and establish a best practices teacher and school administrator evaluation system by July 1, 2018, that requires specific components, such as state and local formative and summative assessment data and observations. The new system would have to be negotiated with the local collective bargaining unit. The bills are a response by lawmakers to recent court rulings and public pressure to include student test scores in the evaluation process. While ACSA is strongly opposed to the legislation, neither CTA nor CFT have taken a position.

Under the bills, the teachers’ evaluation system would be based on the California Standards for the Teaching Profession and would include seven objectives on which they will be rated. The section of AB 575 that applies to administrators says that the evaluation system must be based on the California Professional Standards for Educational Leaders and includes these provisions for evaluation:

·         the success by which the administrator facilitates development and implementation of a vision for pupil learning, parent and community communication, advocating and supporting a safe, nurturing school culture that sustains a quality instructional program conducive to pupil learning and staff professional growth, providing ethical and professional leadership.
·         the academic growth of pupils over time, based on multiple measures, which may include pupil work as well as pupil and school longitudinal data.
·         Requires the governing board of a school district to identify who will conduct the evaluation of each school administrator, as specified.
The bill also includes the provision that …certain elements …cannot be negotiated away including: frequency of evaluations; classroom observations from evaluators trained for the task; requiring districts to receive and consider input from parents, students, and community members into the development of the local evaluation process; requiring evidence of teachers’ contribution to students’ academic performance through multiple measures, including summative and formative assessments; requiring that teachers who are evaluated unsatisfactory participate in a district’s Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) program if it has one; and requiring that teachers in charter schools also be evaluated under the new best practices system.

Based on the above analysis of the bill provided by the Appropriations Committee, AB 575 seems to be a bill that administrators and teachers would support. We, at AALA, are disappointed that ACSA, an organization which represents school administrators, would advocate removing evaluations from the negotiating table and permit individual school districts to implement whatever type of evaluative system it desires. ACSA members have been sent an email encouraging them to send letters of opposition to their state representatives saying this legislation will harm students and that standards of acceptable performance should be determined by the governing board rather than as a result of the give and take of collective bargaining.

AALA maintains that the evaluation system should remain a negotiated item as it has been for the last few decades and does not support the position that ACSA has taken. Why would we not want to have a say in the process by which we are evaluated? Why would we give up that right? We encourage any AALA member who also belongs to ACSA to give serious thought before acceding to ACSA’s request to notify your state representatives of your opposition to these bills.

Most Recent Bill Analysis: 06/03/15- ASSEMBLY FLOOR ANALYSIS
Analysis Prepared by: Chelsea Kelley / ED. / Full analysis

COMMENTS: This bill replaces the existing teacher evaluation system, known as the Stull Act, with a new teacher and administrator evaluation system that requires specific components, such as state and local formative and summative assessment data and observations. While existing law requires school districts to collectively bargain many of these elements, this bill requires these components to be included in a uniform educator evaluation system. According to the author, the goal is to establish a fair, transparent, and comprehensive teacher evaluation system accountable to pupils, parents and teachers. California's 1,000 school districts serve diverse pupil populations, employees, and communities. What works in Los Angeles Unified School District does not necessarily work in the Eureka City Unified School District. While this measure does require specific components to be part of teacher and administrator evaluations, it allows individual school districts the flexibility to determine how these elements will be implemented to meet the needs of their pupils, teachers, administrators, and parents.

Research on the Current Teacher Evaluation System: According to the author, the state's current teacher evaluation system is inconsistent, unclear, and does little to foster a culture of continuous improvement for teachers. According to a 2010 report released by the National Board Resource Center at Stanford University, "While evaluation processes across the state vary widely, many of them look very much the same as they did in 1971… In sharing their own experiences with evaluations, Accomplished California Teachers members revealed some common challenges: a system that teachers do not trust, that rarely offers clear direction for improving practice and that often charges school leaders to implement without preparation or resources."

Several research studies detail the essential principals and components of a strong teacher evaluation system. The National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality argues a strong evaluation system must: "involve teachers and stakeholders in developing the system; use multiple indicators; and give teachers opportunities to improve in the areas in which they score poorly." Likewise, the New Teacher Project states "evaluations should provide all teachers with regular feedback that helps them grow as professionals, no matter how long they have been in the classroom. The primary purpose of evaluations should not be punitive. Good evaluations identify excellent teachers and help teachers of all skill levels understand how they can improve."

The Use of Assessments in Evaluation: This bill requires both state and local formative and summative assessments to be included in educator evaluation. Formative assessments are developed locally and are used by teachers to continually inform instruction in the classroom throughout the school year. Summative assessments can be developed locally or state-wide and assess a student's performance at a point in time. Summative assessments can include end of unit quizzes, end of course tests, or standardized tests.

Evaluation Frequency: This bill requires probationary teachers to be evaluated at least every year and permanent teacher to be evaluated at least every other year; and, it reduces the authorization for teachers with more than 10 years experience to be evaluated every five years, and instead authorizes evaluation every three years. By reducing the five-year evaluation cycle to a three-year evaluation cycle for experienced teachers, this bill will require experienced teachers to be evaluated more frequently. It is unclear how many teachers are currently evaluated every five years and thus it is unclear how this bill will affect administrator work load to complete the increased number of evaluations.

Professional Development: This bill specifies that teachers who receive an unsatisfactory rating on their evaluation, if a school district has a PAR program in place, they must refer teachers who receive an unsatisfactory review to the PAR program for improvement. This bill does not specify the process if a teacher continues to receive unsatisfactory evaluations after the PAR program is complete. It is unclear whether school districts should begin dismissal proceedings, or provide further instructional support for the teacher.

Evaluation Funding: This bill specifies that is it the intent of the Legislature to provide adequate resources to train evaluators, continue robust beginning teacher induction programs, and support struggling educators. According to the author, appropriate funding is a key component to achieving a high quality teacher and administrator evaluation system, as well as necessary support programs for beginning teachers and struggling teachers.

Public Hearings: This bill requires public hearings before May 1st of the year proceeding local negotiations, as well as public hearings should a mid-year agreement be reached. The public hearing process will require a hearing before negotiations begin, during negotiations, prior to the final vote on the evaluation system, as well as after the evaluation has been adopted. The intent of these public hearings is to allow for parents to give input on the evaluation system each time it is negotiated. It is unclear how much information is legally allowed to be shared publically during the negotiation process. The Legislature should consider whether this mid-negotiation hearing is appropriate.

Collective Bargaining Agreements: This bill requires the teacher evaluation system to be collectively bargained, if the district or COE has a collective bargaining unit. The specific provisions of this bill cannot be bargained out of the final evaluation system adopted by a school district or COE. The requirements in this bill must be included in the evaluation system, they cannot be weakened or omitted from the evaluation system in any way.

Further, this bill clarifies that the teacher evaluation system does not supersede or invalidate a teacher evaluation system that is locally negotiated and that is in effect at the time this bill becomes operative. If a locally negotiated teacher evaluation system is in effect at the time this bill becomes operative, the teacher evaluation system shall remain in effect until the parties to the agreement negotiate a successor agreement. This bill further clarifies that a memorandum of understanding (MOU) shall not extend the adoption of a locally negotiated teacher evaluation system that is in effect at the time this bill becomes operative. In other words, if a collective bargaining agreement ends, but is extended by an MOU, the existing teacher evaluation system cannot remain in effect indefinitely during an MOU.

Arguments in Support: Public Advocates supports this bill and states, "In multiple ways AB 575 would strengthen the evaluation system and not just by requiring full compliance with California's teaching standards which are optional under the existing law (Stull Act). AB 575 requires that any teacher evaluation system must include certain elements and cannot be negotiated away, including:

1) Increasing the frequency of the most veteran educators' evaluation from once every five years to once every three years,

2) Increasing the categories for rating teachers from two (simply satisfactory and unsatisfactory) to three,

3) Requiring a series of classroom observations from evaluators trained for the task; and

4) Requiring that districts receive and consider input from parents, students, and community members into the development of the local evaluation process,

5) Requiring evidence of teachers' contribution to students' academic performance through multiple measures, including summative and formative assessments,

6) Requiring that teachers who are evaluated unsatisfactory participate in a district's Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) program if it has one."

Arguments in Opposition: The Education Trust-West opposes this bill and states: "The Education Trust – West opposes AB 575 because it would expand the scope of bargaining, mandate the use of the California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTP's) through a rigid scheme, and eliminate waivers allowing districts to implement alternative, innovative teacher evaluation systems… The proposed scheme allows minimal flexibility to emphasize one or more of the standards over the others, according to local needs, and use them in combination with other measures such as parent and student surveys. This would hamper the innovative efforts of school districts that are using frameworks not directly tied to the CSTPs, and demonstrating improvement in teacher performance and student learning."

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