Get it Done for the Students of Los Angeles
|October 25, 2011|
|A local contract dispute and its resolution will greatly impact the lives and futures of Los Angeles' 700,000 schoolchildren. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education and the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) are engaged in negotiations toward a successor agreement to a contract that expired in June and remains in place until a new agreement is negotiated.|
Unlike most public sector and private sector labor contracts, which deal only with wages and working conditions, the School Board - UTLA contract has significant implications for education reform in LAUSD. Key policies and practices like Public School Choice and effective teacher evaluation depend on contract language agreements and on joint implementation by the district and the union.
Currently the parties are negotiating toward a Nov. 1 deadline on a resolution passed by the Board of Education on Aug. 30. Here is what we believe both parties should embrace for the benefit of our students:
- Expand autonomy to every school so that teachers and principals have more flexibility and are empowered to design the type of curriculum, schedule and interventions that will serve their students best.
- Empower principals to build their own teams and recruit teachers; stop forcing them to take "must-place" teachers based on factors that have nothing to do with student achievement.
- Include consideration of school needs and teacher performance when implementing personnel decisions, including reductions in force, transfers, displacements, assignments and return rights.
- Guarantee that every school can vote on agreements that outline what is expected of employees at their school site (elect-to-work agreement), and that any school whose staff votes for such an agreement is allowed to implement it.
- Use multiple measures in evaluating teachers including observations by academic leaders, student "academic growth over time" data, and stakeholder (teacher, parent and student) feedback, and a teacherís contribution to the school.
- Connect teacher evaluation data to appropriate professional development so that teachers may use evaluations to improve their practice.
- Provide mechanisms for teachers to receive additional compensation for being effective and for taking on harder assignments.
Approving these contract negotiations will put students first by placing and empowering highly effective teachers and principals in our schools. The big winner in these negotiations will be our students and our community.
And that's The Business Perspective.
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