Members of United Teachers Los Angeles have approved a teacher-evaluation method based in part on students’ test scores. However, the deal limits the use of controversial value-added data and instead will measure teachers’ effectiveness based on raw state test scores, district assessments and high-school exit exams, as well as attendance, graduation, suspensions and course-completion rates. 

A landmark agreement to use student test scores for the first time in evaluating Los Angeles Unified teachers was approved by union members Saturday.

United Teachers Los Angeles reported that 66% of 16,892 members who voted approved the agreement with the nation’s second-largest school district. L.A. Unified now joins Chicago, New York and many other cities in using testing data as one measure of a teacher’s effect on student academic progress. About half the union’s 34,000 members voted.

In a victory for the union, however, the pact limits the use of a controversial method of analyzing a teacher’s impact on student learning known as value-added. Instead, the two sides agreed to evaluate teachers with such data as raw state test scores, district assessments, high school exit exams and rates of attendance, graduation, suspensions and course completion.

The agreement will force the district to alter its new evaluation system, which was to use a teacher’s individual value-added score along with a rigorous new observation process, student and parent feedback and an educator’s contribution to the school community. Parts of the new performance reviews are currently being tested in the district’s 1,300 schools.

UTLA President Warren Fletcher hailed the vote as an endorsement of union efforts to prevent the use of individual value-added scores in evaluations. Schoolwide value-added scores will be used, however.

“We worked hard at the bargaining table to craft a system that intelligently uses student data in the evaluation of teachers,” he said.


Related Articles

best speed reading course