A third party coalition of parents and teachers have proposed a new evaluation method that would judge LAUSD teachers based on a variety of factors, including both test scores, classroom observations and parent feedback, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The 15-member group, "Our Schools, Our Voice," has proposed a method that would base 25-percent of a teacher's evaluation on standarized test scores, 60-percent on classroom observation and the rest on student and teacher feedback.
The evaluation method would be phased in over a period of two years, and would only count a student's test scores if he attended a teacher's class for more than 85-percent of the class year. Additionally, during the first two years, teachers could opt to have the school's overall scores used in their evaluation if they were higher than their own classroom scores.
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LASUD) and United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA)--the union that represents teachers--have been locked in a contentious battle over the use of standardized test scores as metric in teacher evaluation.
Last April, the district for the first time ever unveiled their own value-added scores, which ranked the ability of schools to help students of all demographics raise their test scores over time. Shortly thereafter, the district began releasing to teachers their own confidential value-added scores.
The district has been adamant about the importance of evaluating teachers based on test scores, citing the drastic need to improve student performance.
Teachers, however, have argued that standardized tests are too volatile a metric to be used evaluate student performance. Issues of poverty, parent involvement, language spoken at home or even the student's health on the day of the exam can all impact how a student performs, and blur the picture of how the teacher is performing.
Earlier this year, UTLA proposed their own self-evaluation method, which would allow but not require teachers to include student test scores.
Patch Asks: What is the best way to evaluate teachers? Should test scores be a part of the formula, the whole formula? If not, what should administrators look at to determine how well a teacher is doing his job?