By Connie Llanos, Staff Writer | LA Daily News | http://bit.ly/olz4cf
9/23/2011 01:00AM PDT - Los Angeles Unified administrators have tentatively agreed to a new three-year contract that includes a trial run of a controversial system to evaluate teachers based on their students' test scores.
Associated Administrators had earlier taken legal action to oppose the district's plan for a pilot evaluation system, but now has agreed to test the proposal for one year without consequences to those being evaluated.
Union officials said the probationary period will allow them to study the new system as it is tested with a small percentage of principals and teachers. LAUSD officials will have to negotiate with the administrators again before implementing it districtwide as planned for next school year.
"We reached an agreement with the district which means the district and AALA will negotiate in good faith," said Dan Isaacs, an administrators union representative.
LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy said he was pleased to see the administrators agree to a new contract and pilot evaluation system. The district has been negotiating with the much larger, 40,000 member teachers union on the same issue of evaluations but has yet to reach agreement.
"This means a great deal, it shows we can work as a team to resolve issues," Deasy said.
"This shows AALA is providing leadership on a very important issue."
For teachers and principals, the pilot evaluation system has multiple measures including observations, parent and student surveys and the performance of students over time on tests.
Deasy said the evaluation system would put no more than 30 percent weight on test scores and survey results.
Already, hundreds of administrators and teachers are testing out the new evaluation system and Isaacs said his members have already reported some concerns.
Isaacs said principals have reported that the process can take about 5hours per employee evaluation.
More than 2,000 union members will decide whether to ratify the new contract and the agreement on the evaluation system during an online vote between Sept. 28 and Oct. 4.