Superintendent Defends Teacher Evaluations

Although the Los Angeles Unified School District continues its renegotiation with all 11 of its unions, the negotiation with the teachers union receives all the attention.

Most of that attention is placed on the controversial teacher evaluations.

Superintendent John Deasy said only a portion of the evaluation would be student performance.

“A fraction of what we proposed of a total evaluation of an employee’s performance, we believe, should include how students do over time,” he said.

Teachers believe that student achievement is influenced more heavily by other fanctor than teachering performance. Language barriers and poor home support have more of an impact on a student’s learning ability than the teacher. Teacher performance review based on student scores skews the results unfairly for teachers who are already put in difficult positions.

However, Deasy said the student performance will only be part of the evaluation and will be based on a long-term look at the student’s performance. He also said his office is working with hundreds of teachers to produce a robust teaching evaluation.

“The idea is we want a system of multiple measures, as we should always have something with more than one data point,” he said defining some of the points he hopes will be used on the evaluation. “A well-defined clinical observation; how parents and teachers feel they’re experiencing education; how the teachers contribute to the environment of the school and learning; and how students do over time.”

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