BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






                                         

                          SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
                                 Carol Liu, Chair
                             2013-14 Regular Session
                                         

          BILL NO:       SB 441
          AUTHOR:        Calderon  
          AMENDED:       April 9, 2013
          FISCAL COMM:   Yes            HEARING DATE:  April 24, 2013
          URGENCY:       No             CONSULTANT:Lenin Del Castillo

           SUBJECT  :  Teachers:  teacher evaluations.
          
           SUMMARY   

          This bill amends various provisions of existing law governing  
          the evaluation of certificated employees by requiring the  
          evaluations to use multiple measures, including a minimum of  
          four rating levels, increasing the frequency of evaluations  
          for teachers with 10 or more years of experience in a school  
          district from every five years to every three years, and  
          requiring school districts to avail itself to the input of  
          parents.

           BACKGROUND  

          Under existing law, the Stull Act expresses legislative  
          intent that school districts and county governing boards  
          establish a uniform system of evaluation and assessment of  
          certificated personnel.  With the exception of certificated  
          personnel who are employed on an hourly basis to teach adult  
          education classes, the Stull Act requires school districts to  
          evaluate and assess teacher performance as it reasonably  
          relates to:  

          1)   Progress of pupils toward district-adopted and, if  
               applicable, state-adopted academic content standards as  
               measured by state-adopted criterion referenced tests; 

          2)   Instructional techniques and strategies used by the  
               employee; 

          3)   The employee's adherence to curricular objectives; and





                                                                  SB 441
                                                                  Page 2



          4)    The establishment and maintenance of a suitable  
               learning environment within the scope of the employee's  
               responsibilities.  
          (Education Code  44660 et. seq.)  

          Existing law requires an evaluation and assessment of the  
          performance of each certificated employee to be made at least  
          once each school year for probationary personnel, at least  
          every other year for personnel with permanent status, and at  
          least every five years for permanent employees who have been  
          employed with the district at least 10 years and were rated  
          as meeting or exceeding standards in their previous  
          evaluation.  Teachers who receive an unsatisfactory rating  
          may be required to participate in a program designed to  
          improve the employee's performance and to further pupil  
          achievement and the instructional objectives of the district.  
           However, if the district participates in the Peer Assistance  
          and Review (PAR) program, then the teachers who receive an  
          unsatisfactory rating are required to participate in that  
          program.  (Education Code  44664) 

          Existing law establishes the PAR program for teachers by  
          authorizing school districts and the exclusive representative  
          of the certificated employees to develop and implement the  
          program locally.  The PAR programs are to include multiple  
          observations of a teacher during periods of classroom  
          instruction and sufficient staff development activities to  
          assist a teacher in improving his or her skills and  
          knowledge.  The final evaluation of a teacher's participation  
          in the program is made available for placement in his or her  
          personnel file.  (Education Code  44505)

          The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has established a  
          process by which states may request flexibility on behalf of  
          themselves, local educational agencies, and schools, by  
          applying for a waiver from certain requirements of the No  
          Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).  The waiver is intended  
          to provide educators and state and local leaders with  
          flexibility regarding specific requirements of NCLB  
          (principally, the requirement that all students be proficient  
          in math and reading by 2014 and won't have to identify  
          additional schools failing to meet targets) in exchange for  
          rigorous and comprehensive state-developed plans designed to  
          improve educational outcomes for all students, close  
          achievement gaps, increase equity, and improve the quality of  
          instruction.  




                                                                  SB 441
                                                                  Page 3




          Instructions provided by the DOE indicate that to receive the  
          flexibility, a state's educational agency and each local  
          educational agency must commit to develop, adopt, pilot and  
          implement, with the involvement of teachers and principals,  
          teacher and principal evaluation and support systems that:   
          (1) will be used for continual improvement of instruction;  
          (2) meaningfully differentiate performance using at least  
          three performance levels; (3) use multiple valid measures in  
          determining performance levels, including as a significant  
          factor, data on student growth for all students (including  
          English Learners and students with disabilities), and other  
          measures of professional practice (which may be gathered  
          through multiple formats and sources, such as observations  
          based on rigorous teacher performance standards, teacher  
          portfolios, and student and parent surveys); (4) evaluate  
          teachers and principals on a regular basis; (5) provide  
          clear, timely, and useful feedback, including feedback that  
          identifies needs and guides professional development; and (6)  
          will be used to inform personnel decisions.  

          The DOE has granted waivers to over 30 states.  In June 2012,  
          California submitted a request to set aside specific  
          requirements of the NCLB and requested that the DOE allow the  
          state to use its own accountability system to ensure that all  
          schools improve.  California's request differs from those  
          filed by other states that agreed to several additional  
          federally required policies in exchange for the NCLB waiver.   
          The request was denied In December 2012.  

           Court ruling  

          In November 2011, a group of parents filed a law suit on  
          behalf of their children, (Doe et. al. v Deasy et. al.)  
          asking the court to compel the Los Angeles Unified School  
          District (LAUSD), its superintendent, and its board of  
          education to comply with the Stull Act's requirement to  
          evaluate teachers and administrators based in part on student  
          performance.  In July 2012, Superior Court Judge Chalfant  
          found that the LAUSD was not in compliance with the Stull Act  
          and was violating its mandatory duty under the Act to use  
          pupil progress in teacher and principal evaluations.  The  
          Court ruled that LAUSD must modify its current evaluation  
          process to comply with the Stull Act requirement to  
          incorporate an assessment of the employee's performance as it  
          reasonably relates to the progress of pupils toward the  




                                                                  SB 441
                                                                  Page 4



          district standards at each grade level in each area of study  
          and as it reasonably relates to the progress of pupils toward  
          State adopted academic content standards as measured by State  
          adopted criterion referenced assessments, if applicable.  

           LAUSD and UTLA Supplemental Agreement  

          In response to the requirements of the Doe v. Deasy court  
          order, LAUSD and United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) reached  
          an agreement on additional teacher evaluation guidelines as a  
          supplemental agreement to the existing collective bargaining  
          agreement (Article X of the District-UTLA Agreement).  The  
          supplemental agreement was ratified by UTLA members in  
          January 2013, and changes the current evaluation process to  
          incorporate the consideration of data of pupil progress into  
          both the goal-setting planning sheets and in the final  
          evaluation.  Specifically, LAUSD administrators must ensure  
          that a student performance data goal be incorporated into a  
          teacher's initial planning sheet and that both classroom  
          level and student outcome data and schoolwide Academic Growth  
          Over Time information be considered and used when determining  
          a teacher's overall performance in making a final evaluation.  
           

           ANALYSIS  

           This bill  :

          1)   Requires the governing board of school districts to  
               avail itself of the advice of the parents of students,  
               including obtaining systematic and continuing input  
               through open feedback sessions, surveys, and specific  
               focus groups by subject matter and grade level as part  
               of the evaluation guidelines and procedures of  
               certificated staff.

          2)   Requires that the governing board of school districts  
               regularly evaluate and assess the performance of  
               certificated staff using multiple measures, including a  
               minimum of four rating levels.  The governing board of a  
               school district shall define each rating level used.

          3)   Requires that the evaluation and assessment of the  
               performance of certificated staff be made at least every  
               three years for personnel who have been employed at  
               least 10 years with the school district, are highly  




                                                                  SB 441
                                                                  Page 5



               qualified, if those personnel occupy positions that are  
               required to be filled by a highly qualified professional  
               by the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and  
               whose previous evaluation rated the employee as meeting  
               or exceeding standards. 

           STAFF COMMENTS  

           1)   Need for the bill  :  According to the author's office,  
               the current teacher evaluations process under the Stull  
               Act has proved to be insufficient in the recognition of  
               high performing teachers and the identification of those  
               that could benefit from professional development.  While  
               some districts incorporate student performance in their  
               evaluation systems, others do not, and in districts that  
               simply rate their employees as "meeting" or "not  
               meeting" expectations, teachers may not receive  
               sufficient feedback during the evaluation process to  
               understand how to improve their practice.  

               According to a 2010 report released by the National  
               Board Resource Center at Stanford University, "While  
               evaluation processes across the state vary widely, many  
               of them look very much the same as they did in 1971."   
               Comments from Accomplished California Teachers indicate  
               that current approaches to teacher evaluation results in  
               a system that teachers do not trust, that rarely offers  
               clear direction for improving practice, and often  
               charges school leaders to implement without preparation  
               or resources.  A January 2011 report by the Center for  
               the Future of Teaching and Learning (CFTL) notes that  
               evaluations pay "scarce attention to student learning or  
               do not connect that learning to elements of teacher  
               content knowledge or instructional skills that could be  
               improved."  

               Several research studies document the correlation  
               between teacher quality and student achievement whereby  
               differential teacher effectiveness is a strong  
               determinant of differences in student learning, far  
               outweighing the effects of differences in class size and  
               heterogeneity.  Studies have shown that students who are  
               assigned to several ineffective teachers in a row have  
               significantly lower achievement and gains in achievement  
               than those who are assigned to several highly effective  
               teachers.  




                                                                  SB 441
                                                                  Page 6




               The stated purpose of this bill is to strengthen teacher  
               quality by improving the state's teacher evaluation  
               system by providing the necessary clarity and direction  
               for a uniform evaluation framework that improves teacher  
               quality.  

           2)   Expands the scope of bargaining  ?  Current law enumerates  
               evaluation procedures as a mandatory subject of  
               collective bargaining.  Opponents of the bill contend  
               that this bill could have the effect of requiring  
               districts to bargain aspects of the system, such as  
               evaluation criteria, that could significantly abridge  
               the freedom of school districts to exercise managerial  
               prerogatives essential to the achievement of their  
               mission.  Although some districts currently bargain  
               evaluation criteria with their local unions, the  
               Association of California School Administrators has  
               noted that under current law, criteria within the  
               evaluation are not a mandatory subject of bargaining.  

           3)   Parent feedback  ?  This bill provides the ability for  
               parents of students to provide feedback as part of the  
               teacher evaluation process.  Under current law, a school  
               district may dismiss a teacher based on performance  
               deemed to be unsatisfactory.  Would it be appropriate  
               for teacher evaluations to incorporate potentially  
               subjective feedback from parents, especially when it  
               could lead to an unsatisfactory rating and ultimately a  
               teacher's dismissal?  Additionally, to the extent that  
               evaluation criteria is subject to collective bargaining,  
               could this lead to the insertion of parents as a third  
               party into negotiations? 
                
          4)   Meets federal waiver requirements  ?  SB 441 requires  
               local evaluation systems to differentiate teacher  
               performance using at least four performance levels.   
               Binary systems, in which teachers receive either a  
               "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory" rating, do not comply  
               with the provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act  
               (NCLB).  Arguably, these changes could strengthen  
               California's position relative to its request for the  
               federal NCLB waiver.  However, the bill's requirements  
               may not be sufficient to qualify the state for the NCLB  
               waiver because the bill does not require data on student  
               growth to be a "significant factor" in a teacher's  




                                                                  SB 441
                                                                  Page 7



               evaluation and does not address the U.S. Department of  
               Education's requirement that evaluations be used to  
               inform personnel decisions.  It is unclear whether this  
               would threaten the ability of school districts to submit  
               a competitive application for any future waiver programs  
               that may be made available by the federal government.  
           
           5)   Related and prior legislation  .  

               SB 453 (Huff) authorizes the governing board of a school  
               district to evaluate and assess the performance of  
               certificated employees using a multiple-measures  
               evaluation system, authorizes school districts to make  
               specified employment decisions based on teacher  
               performance, and expands the reasons districts may  
               deviate from the order of seniority in terminating and  
               reappointing teachers, as specified. This bill is also  
               scheduled to be heard by this Committee on April 24,  
               2013.    

               SB 657 (Block) repeals the Stull Act and adds various  
               intent language and declarations regarding teacher  
               evaluations.  This bill is pending before this  
               Committee.

               AB 430 (Olson) amends various provisions of existing law  
               governing the evaluation of certificated employees, as  
               specified.  This bill is pending before the Assembly  
               Education Committee.

               SB 1292 (Liu), Chapter 435, Statutes of 2012, authorizes  
               the evaluation of school principals based on the  
               California Professional Standards for Educational  
               Leaders as well as evidence of pupil academic growth,  
               effective and comprehensive teacher evaluations,  
               culturally responsive instructional strategies, the  
               ability to analyze quality instructional strategies and  
               provide effective feedback, and effective school  
               management.    

               SB 355 (Huff, 2011) would have authorized the evaluation  
               and assessment of certificated employees using a  
               multiple-measures evaluation system, authorized local  
               educational associations to assign, reassign, and  
               transfer teachers and administrators based on  
               effectiveness and subject matter needs without regard to  




                                                                  SB 441
                                                                  Page 8



               years of service, and authorized districts to deviate  
               from the order of seniority in terminating and  
               reappointing teachers, as specified.  This measure  
               failed passage in this Committee on May 2011.
                
          SUPPORT
           
          California Mayors (cities of Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San  
          Jose)
          California United to Reform Education
          EdVoice
          Lanai Road Education Action Committee
          Los Angeles Unified School District
          Office of the Mayor of San Francisco
          National Action Network Los Angeles
          Orange County Business Council
          Parent Partnership
          Parent Revolution
          Parents Advocate League
          San Diego United Parents for Education
          Simmons Group Inc.
          Stand Up for Great Schools
          Students First
          Letters from various individuals

           OPPOSITION

           California Federation of Teachers 
          California School Employees Association
          California Teachers Association
          United Teachers Los Angeles