As I noted here in June, a ruling out of Los Angeles County Superior Court earlier this summer held that the current system of soft-pedaled evaluations is in violation of a Reagan-era teacher accountability law requiring the use of standardized test scores. But the CTA seems to think that AB 5, in its current incarnation, holds the prospect of salvaging the status quo. Here's how Jon Festerwald reports it at EdSource:
CTA and United Teachers Los Angeles have fought tying evaluations to scores on the California Standards Tests, or CSTs, to any extent, arguing they were not written for that purpose. AB 5, by permitting but not requiring districts to use state test scores as a measure of student progress, would undermine [Judge James] Chalfant's ruling. (Whether his ruling would still apply to Los Angeles Unified may depend on when AB 5 goes into effect.)And what would be instituted instead? Festerwald notes that it will be standards such as:
- Engaging and supporting all pupils in learning, including setting high expectations;
- Creating and maintaining "effective environments for pupil learning, to the extent that those environments are within the teacher's control";
- Understanding and organizing subject matter for pupil learning, evidenced by knowledge of content standards and "curriculum competence";
- Planning instruction and designing learning experiences for all pupils, such as using differentiated instruction and multicultural information;
- Using pupil assessment information to inform instruction and to improve learning;
- Developing as a professional educator, including building good relationships with parents and students and working collaboratively with other teachers.
In other words, we're scoring our teachers with content-free participation grades. What's worse, the bill doesn't even specify consequences should teachers fail to meet these (laughably abstract) standards. Yet the CTA will march forward, claiming their support of AB 5 reflects their sense of stewardship for California children. Start counting your spoons.