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Teacher Evaluations Still a Work in Progress

Hillel Aron | June 14, 2013

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teacher-evalTeacher evaluations for the 2012-13 school year were due about a month ago.

Even though they included a section for “student achievement,” it’s safe to say that particular section was a work in progress.

“There was literally just a few weeks to get it implemented, and we had to implement it according to the courts,” said LAUSD instructional director Brian Lucas. “We had to start something now, so we did.”

This year’s set of evaluations are the last of the old Stull evaluations. Next year, they’ll be replaced by a new system that Lucas is calling the Teacher Growth and Developments Cycles.

The new system offers a far more specific set of criteria for a principal to evaluate a teacher with during classroom observations.

“It’s very detailed and specific to what’s happening in the classroom,” said Lucas. “Before, observations could be  generic — for example, they could write, ‘good job.’ Now it’s detail based, fact based.”

Teachers will be evaluated under the new system starting in 2013-2014, but training for principals will start over the summer.

Results of the California Standardized Tests aren’t available yet, so the student achievement section on this year’s evaluations will rest on what sounds like a rather squishy metric — what Lucas calls a ‘data objective’ agreed to by the principal and the teacher. That’s almost sure to change by the end of next year.

“We need to fully flesh out what this is going to look like, what data points are going to be used,” said Lucas. “And the state testing is changing substantially for next year.”

Previous posts: Revamp Teacher Evaluation Plan, Says LA TimesUnion Tells Teachers How to Protest EvaluationsTeachers & Principals Question Deasy Teacher Evaluation Plan

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