Our Schools, Our Voice Summary

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Over the past two months, a diverse and unprecedented group of Los Angeles Unified SchoolDistrict (LAUSD) teachers, parents, community members, and advocates has worked together torevise the current teacher evaluation system. Our goal was to define major elements of a newteacher evaluation system that authentically reflects the needs and expectations of all majorstakeholders in education here in Los Angeles.

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Our Schools, Our Voice: Summary of Recommendations for a New Teacher Evaluation System
May 2012

Our Goal
Over the past two months, a diverse and unprecedented group of Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) teachers, parents, community members, and advocates has worked together to revise the current teacher evaluation system. Our goal was to define major elements of a new teacher evaluation system that authentically reflects the needs and expectations of all major stakeholders in education here in Los Angeles. To accomplish this urgent task, we drew on a diverse body of existing evaluation research and frameworks, as well as our own varied experiences as stakeholders in LAUSD. We believe a strong teacher evaluation system must be implemented now to ensure that Los Angeles’ students receive the high quality education they deserve. The following is a summary of our recommendations. We sincerely hope these recommendations will form the basis of a new, workable evaluation system, as well as a basis for immediate, effective advocacy around this critical issue.


 


 
 
  PRINCIPLES AND PURPOSE What We Believe
We believe that an effective teacher evaluation system should be strengths-based and meaningful in creating a learning community where all students have teachers who help them learn, thrive, and achieve their full potential. Specifically, we believe the teacher evaluation system should: 1. Result in timely, specific, and useful feedback that provides actionable steps for teacher improvement and corresponding professional development opportunities to further enhance the teacher’s capacity and effectiveness; 2. Identify, celebrate, and reward excellent teachers and teaching; 3. Promote measurable growth in student outcomes; 4. Inform all employment decisions including tenure, advancement (differentiated career paths and identification of master teachers), and dismissal; 5. Allow room for the teacher’s creativity to flourish and the passion for teaching students to be reaffirmed; 6. Create a classroom and school-site culture of achievement and learning; and 7. Receive sustained support by the District and all stakeholders in ensuring its success.

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Our
 Schools,
 Our
 Voice:
 
  Summary
 of
 Recommendations
 for
 a
 New
 Teacher
 Evaluation
 


 
 
  SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS Classroom Observation (60%)
Classroom observation should represent the largest portion of a teacher’s evaluation. Observing a teacher in his or her classroom is critically important in the determination of his or her impact on student learning. 1) Probationary teachers will be observed yearly; permanent-status teachers will be observed once every two years. 2) Teachers will be observed at least four times per year; two of these observations will be planned and two will be unannounced. 3) Teachers will be observed by one administrator and one teacher with the required grade level or content expertise. 4) Observations will be based on two to three identified areas of focus agreed upon by the teacher and administrator during a mandatory planning conference that precedes the observation process.

Test Data (25%)
Teachers have many roles; however, their primary role is to make sure that students learn the material, improve throughout the year, and meet state standards for knowledge and proficiency. Student test data should form a significant part of a teacher’s evaluation. 1) During the two-year implementation period of the new teacher evaluation system, a teacher’s Academic Growth over Time (AGT) score will be determined in one of two ways: 1) It would be either his or her individual AGT score or 2) the schoolwide AGT score, whichever is higher. 2) For teachers in non-tested subject areas, the schoolwide AGT score will be used if it improves their overall evaluation scores. 3) No test data will be used for probationary teachers. 4) Oversight of AGT implementation and reliability will be provided by a committee of key stakeholders.

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Our
 Schools,
 Our
 Voice:
 
  Summary
 of
 Recommendations
 for
 a
 New
 Teacher
 Evaluation
 


 
 
  Student Feedback (5%)
Given their daily interaction with their teachers, students are uniquely positioned to assess the effectiveness of their teachers. Their feedback, collected through surveys, can offer meaningful insight into teachers’ performance. 1) Student surveys will be used in grades three through twelve.

Parent Surveys (5%)
Parents, too, can help determine multiple aspects of a teacher’s effectiveness, from whether their children are motivated to whether they themselves are being welcomed to be part of the educational process. 1) Parent surveys will be used for every grade level, provided that a minimum number of surveys were returned.

Contribution to School Community (5%)
Great teachers often do a lot outside their classrooms that helps develop a more vibrant and supportive school community, engaging students’ interests. 1) Contribution to school community will be measured based on parent engagement, schoolwide collaboration, and other school involvement.

Closing the Achievement Gap (up to 10% additional value)
Los Angeles is struggling to close the achievement gap between low-performing students and their peers, which makes this a critical issue. If a teacher successfully helps low-performing students markedly improve, he or she should receive additional recognition and credit for this accomplishment. 1) Closing the achievement gap will be measured based on a teacher’s success in increasing the year-to-year progress of students scoring in the lowest quartile. Progress will be measured against statewide averages on the applicable test(s).

4
 
 
 

Our
 Schools,
 Our
 Voice:
 
  Summary
 of
 Recommendations
 for
 a
 New
 Teacher
 Evaluation
 


 
 
 

Our Schools, Our Voice Coalition Members
Kate Anderson LAUSD Parent Mar Vista Elementary School Director of LA Office, Children Now Sujata Bhatt LAUSD Teacher Grand View Elementary School Martha Cortes Education Policy Coordinator Alliance for a Better Community Fabiola Del Toro LAUSD Parent Maywood Academy HS Nimitz Middle School James Encinas LAUSD Teacher Westminster Avenue Elementary School Amanda Guzman-Perez Director of Community Services Bienvenidos Children’s Center Kyle Hunsberger LAUSD Teacher Cochran Middle School Felicia Jones Director, Community Engagement & Advocacy Families in Schools Mayra Lara LAUSD Teacher Maywood Academy High School Dr. Linda Murray Senior Advisor The Education Trust-West Allison Rief LAUSD Teacher Virginia Road Elementary School Jeneen Robinson LAUSD Parent Loyola Village Elementary School Angelica Solis Executive Director Alliance for a Better Community Mike Stryer Director Future is Now


 

5
 
 
 

Our
 Schools,
 Our
 Voice:
 
  Summary
 of
 Recommendations
 for
 a
 New
 Teacher
 Evaluation
 

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