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LAUSD, Administrators' Union Reach Tentative Deal on Test Scores in Evaluations

To comply with a recent court ruling, LAUSD must reach full agreements with school administrators and the teachers' union by December.

Evaluations for principals and assistant principals in the Los Angeles Unified School District will now use student test scores, based on a one-year tentative agreement reached Tuesday with its union.

The memorandum of understanding brings the district closer to complying with a recent court ruling. The agreement need to be ratified by the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles school board.

The agreement, to take effect in the 2012-13 school year, calls for evaluations of principals and assistant principals to include school-wide, grade-level and departmental student achievement data. It also provides for the use of other student data such as attendance rates, English language acquisition rates, enrollment and passage rates in college preparation courses and graduation rates. The agreement also calls for district-wide training and guidance for principals and assistant principals in using the data.

Negotiations continue with the United Teachers Los Angeles, the labor union representing district educators, on the same issue. The teachers have opposed introducing test scores in their evaluations.

On Tuesday, LAUSD called the tentative deal with the administrators "historic."

"This significant agreement allows for more complete use of student performance data as one component of a multiple measure approach in the evaluation of administrators," said Superintendent John Deasy in a press release. "I'm grateful to AALA for working with us to achieve this breakthrough, which we believe will greatly help improve the quality of education in every school."

Judith Perez, AALA president, said the union believes the one-year agreement satisfies the court’s decision in Doe v. Deasy. She said the deal gives the parties more time to negotiate a long-term,  improved evaluation process for administrators.

According to KPCC, LAUSD must come into compliance with its administrator evaluations by Dec. 4. The district has agreed on a staggered timeline to implement the plan.

"Calling it 'historic' is hyperbole at best," said David Tokofsky, AALA consultant, in a phone interview Tuesday. He said the school district also has to come into compliance with the 41-year-old Stull Act, requiring districts to assess employee performance based on student progress.

Tokofsky, a parent, teacher and former school board member, said the contract negotiations have not deteriorated to where the teachers and administrators are striking, as they are in Chicago. The dispute is in its third day, according to The New York Times.

"LAUSD didn't give the union a proposal until three weeks ago," he added. "I assume everyone in the room was compliant with the judge's declaration. I think that what's significant, if anything, is that these two sides worked together and in Chicago, they don’t seem to be working."

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