Education

Los Angeles teachers union seeks to re-negotiate evaluation system

Los Angeles Unified School District teachers take a break at George Washington Carver Middle School after listening to Rory Pullens speak.
Los Angeles Unified School District teachers take a break at George Washington Carver Middle School after listening to Rory Pullens speak.
Benjamin Brayfield/KPCC

​​The union representing teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District wants to re-work how the district rates teachers' job performance.

It's one of two portions of the labor contract between the district that United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) leaders proposed to re-open for negotiations Tuesday.

The proposal could spell more change for the district's teacher evaluation system, which the union says has been in "transition" in recent years.

In Dec. 2014, a public employment review board ruled the district — under then-Superintendent John Deasy — erred in unilaterally changing the evaluation system and ordered the district to stop using it.

Then, as part of the contract agreement between the union and the district reached last April, both sides agreed to convene committees to study L.A. Unified's evaluation scheme and consider changes.

UTLA president Alex Caputo-Pearl said his union's members want to see more professional development for teachers.

"We also want to see more supports like mentor teachers, which the research says — very broadly across the country — are effective in helping folks who are struggling," he said.

The union also proposed re-negotiating the portion of its contract that covers class sizes. 

Caputo-Pearl says he hopes the district and union can agree to new terms before the start of the 2016-17 school year. The sides are currently looking for dates to begin negotiations on the two provisions.