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Knowledge From the Field

Teacher Quality Roadmap: Improving Policies and Practices in LAUSD

Published: June 2011

Publisher(s): National Council on Teacher Quality

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Related Organization(s): Alliance for a Better Community, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Families in Schools, Los Angeles Urban League, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Parent Organization Network, United Way of Greater Los Angeles

View Report (58 pages; 5.01MB; PDF)

Area of Focus: Teacher Quality and Leadership; Accountability


The report examines Los Angeles Unified School District and state policies on teacher assignment, evaluations, tenure, compensation, and work schedule and their effect on the quality of the teaching force. The report compares policies and actual practices with standards supported by research and best practices and provides recommendations.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

=Teacher Assignments: Recommendations include eliminating the priority placement list, giving schools more autonomy over staffing, and allowing performance to be used as a factor in determining which teachers will be laid off (as opposed to seniority only).

=Evaluations: Recommendations include making student performance the preponderant criterion for teacher evaluations, developing a team of independent evaluators, making the evaluation tool and process a management right not subject to negotiation with the union, and requiring annual evaluations of all teachers.

=Tenure: Recommendations include holding a tenure review to decide whether to award tenure, making performance the primary factor on which tenure is decided, and rewarding teachers who earn tenure with a significant pay increase.

=Compensation: Recommendations include phasing out salary differentials for earning course credit and offering higher salaries to the top teachers who consistently produce the greatest learning gains.

=Work schedule: Recommendations include ensuring that the eight-hour contractual workday be performed on-site and considering alternative academic calendars that minimize the impact of the shorter instructional year and the academic regression that occurs over the summer.

Focus: Los Angeles

Subjects/Keywords: Collective Bargaining; School Reform; Seniority; Teacher Quality; Teacher Evaluation; Tenure; Urban District

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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