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Suit seeks to include student progress in L.A. teacher evaluations

Advocacy group asserts that the district must comply immediately with a 1971 law that established guidelines for assessing teachers and principals.

November 02, 2011|By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times

Advocates filed suit Tuesday against the Los Angeles Unified School District, alleging it has failed to comply with state laws requiring teachers and principals to be evaluated, in part, on student academic progress.

The suit, filed by the Barnes & Thornburg law firm in conjunction with the Sacramento-based advocacy group EdVoice, asserts that L.A. Unified must comply immediately with the Stull Act, which established guidelines for assessing teachers and principals after its passage in 1971.

"The district has never obeyed the Stull Act's mandate," the suit states, while blaming both the school system and unions representing teachers and administrators. "These associations have made it impossible for the district to lawfully evaluate certificated personnel," the suit alleges.

The lawsuit cites remarks by schools Supt. John Deasy, made in other forums, to buttress its claims.

"I would argue that nobody has told me that the current system of evaluation … helps anybody," Deasy is quoted as saying. "It is fundamentally useless."

Deasy has said the district intends to comply with the Stull Act.

howard.blume@latimes.com

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