New study funded by LAUSD board allies supports current reforms

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A new study out today by the National Council on Teacher Quality supports some of Los Angeles Unified’s policies to improve teaching.

The report refers to low math proficiency and high dropout rates among L.A. Unified students. To turn those around it recommends changes to teacher quality: set aside seniority as the driving factor for teacher assignments, overhaul the way schools evaluate teachers, grant tenure after four years and raise the pay of teachers who achieve tenure.

The nonprofit United Way of Greater Los Angeles helped pay for the study, says spokeswoman Alicia Lara. "We think LAUSD is moving in the right direction. What we’re going to be saying to the board of education is that they need to move much more quickly."

The president of L.A. Unified’s teachers union says the study emphasizes punitive measures for educators. But he’s open to some recommendations, such as extending tenure later into teachers’ careers.

The study’s not an independent evaluation of teacher quality. The Gates Foundation, a backer of some education reforms, covered the study’s $72,000 cost. At the request of an L.A. Unified board member, the United Way coordinated and paid $12,000 to run the L.A. portion of the National Council on Teacher Quality study.