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Deasy: “This Has Never Been Done”

Hillel Aron | November 30, 2012

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Superintendent John Deasy explained to LA School Report why the tentative agreement reached between LAUSD and UTLA on teacher performance was so historic:

“You don’t do this stuff in California – this has never been done. People were very very conscious and concerned, people were very worried about the precedent it would set.”

UTLA President Warren Fletcher’s comments to LA School Report were more measured:

“I think that the judge gave us a task to perform and he gave us a time limit. It’s been complicated. We came out with a product that’s going to allow us to use test data in a smart way.”

One of the biggest areas of disagreement was the use of Academic Growth Over Time. Fletcher said AGT scores are too simplistic, and that they don’t “yield information that helps us improve instruction.” Standardized Testing scores, on the other hand, can help teachers improve.

“Teachers welcome accountability, but we want it to be used logically,” he said.

Proponents of AGT however, argue that because it tracks the progress or growth of individual students over time, it is actually more accurate than an absolute target or standard for measuring and improving teaching.

The main compromise reached by both parties was to include school-wide AGT scores in individual evaluations. Deasy defended the virtue of including school-wide scores in an individual evaluation: “It’s a team. We’re all held responsible for the day for the work of that team.”

The terms of the agreement state that test scores will count for less than half of a teacher’s evaluation. The exact percentage will be up to the Superintendent’s discretion.

Previous posts: Breaking News: Test Scores to Be Used in Teacher EvaluationsTeacher Talks: What Happens If They Can’t Agree?Mediator Named in Deadlock Over Teacher Evaluations

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