Students Matter backs teacher eval suit against 13 California districts
- Last Thursday, four parents and two teachers filed suit against 13 California school districts, alleging that they have signed collective bargaining agreements that block them from using student performance data in evaluating teachers.
- Students Matter, a California-based education advocacy group, is providing financial backing for the lawsuit and also funded last year's high profile Vergara v. State of California, which dismantled teacher tenure and seniority provisions in the state.
- The districts named in the lawsuit include San Ramon Valley Unified, Chino Valley Unified, Chaffey, Antioch Unified, Inglewood Unified, Fremont Union High School District, and El Monte City School District.
Despite the rise in student performance-based teacher evaluations, the lawsuit actually names a 44-year-old law to support the demand for including test data in teacher ratings. The 1971 Stull Act requires that teachers be evaluated on four measures, including student progress on state assessments, where appropriate.
“In the absence of proper evaluation of teachers, school districts cannot reasonably know whether teachers are actually promoting and advancing student learning over time,” the text of the lawsuit reads.
Teacher unions have protested the lawsuit’s allegations, saying that the districts negotiated agreements that suit their individual needs. According to California Federation of Teachers President Joshua Pechthalt, the suit represents “the education agenda of billionaires and corporate America and the 1 percent.”
- The Orange County Register Activists target teacher evaluations