Judge: Evaluate teachers on student grades

June 12, 2012 at 1:38 AM
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LOS ANGELES, June 12 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles Unified School District is violating a state law by not using student performance in teacher evaluations, a judge ruled Monday.

Superior Court Judge James Chalfant did not order the district to use standardized test scores or any other specific yardstick for measuring achievement, the Los Angeles Times reported. He scheduled a hearing Tuesday.

The case was brought by a parents' group that said the district is violating the Stull Act, which was passed 40 years ago and amended in 1999 to make test scores the standard. The Public Employee Relations Commission, the teachers union and an administrators' group defended current practices.

In his opinion, Chalfant said more than 99 percent of teachers get the highest evaluation while fewer than half the students are at grade level in reading and just over half in math.

"These failures cannot be laid solely at the feet of district teachers," Chalfant wrote. "Students must want to learn in order to do so, and some students can never be motivated to learn. But the district has an obligation to look at any and all means available to help improve the dismal results of its student population."

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