Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Today the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) presented to the Los Angeles Board of Education a new study that examines the policies and practices shaping teacher quality in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Combined with the work of the Teacher Effectiveness Taskforce, this report is a powerful roadmap that can change the landscape of teacher quality for students of LAUSD.
The report, developed by NCTQ, the United Way and a coalition of education partners, shines the light on numerous workforce issues and practices that, despite our progress, we’ve failed to address. For example, it is outrageous that we spend 25 percent of our annual teacher payroll to compensate teachers for taking graduate coursework when there is absolutely no evidence that this practice adds to a teacher’s effectiveness. We also have not attended to the best placement of teachers. Rather than placing teachers where their talent is most needed, we instead rely on teacher preference and seniority when deciding classroom assignments. And our seniority system clearly does not benefit children when we do not consider quality over longevity when reductions in force are absolutely necessary.
Our Superintendent, Dr. John Deasy, has firmly committed to transforming LAUSD to be the best in the west and first in the nation. I believe that we won’t be successful in achieving this unless we push ourselves and our partners harder to implement as many of the report recommendations as possible. We must leverage this report to spark the much needed public awareness, engagement and political will to compel LAUSD, its labor partners and our state leaders to do what’s right for kids.