United Teachers Los Angeles announced Saturday that teachers had ratified by a 2-to-1 margin the framework for evaluating teachers that negotiators for the union and Los Angeles Unified reached in November. The two sides reached a court-ordered deal after a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled in June that the Stull Act, the state law governing teacher evaluations, requires that the district include standardized test scores in a teacher’s review.
Both sides claimed victory with the agreement. Standardized test results and still-to-be-determined district assessments will be among several measures of student academic progress – something that the district had sought. However, the district’s method of calculating the impact of an individual teacher on students’ scores, called Academic Growth Over Time, which UTLA adamantly opposes, will not count as part of an evaluation.
UTLA and the district must now negotiate key details of evaluations for future years. Legislators and education groups that support a more effective evaluation law had been waiting for the outcome of the UTLA vote and will be watching closely to see if UTLA and the district can bargain amicably in coming months. Efforts to rewrite an evaluation law last year ended in bitter disagreement over the issue of whether key elements of an evaluation should be left to bargaining or should be the district’s determination.
About half of UTLA members voted on the agreement. The result was 11,185 (66 percent) in favor and 5,707 (34 percent) opposed.