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In Caliornia, state law plus provisions o collective bargaining agreements unctiontogether to defne the employment rela-tionship between most teachers and theirdistricts.Te Stull Act, passed in 1971 and periodi-cally amended, balances the state’s interestin having quality teachers with employees’rights related to how evaluations are con-ducted, compensation and tenure decided,and dismissals handled. First and oremost,it requires districts to develop standards orstudent achievement by grade and subject asone basis or teacher evaluations. Te act alsoapplies to all other certifcated personnel.In addition, the state’s EducationalEmployment Relations Act (EE), enactedin 1975, guarantees teachers the right to col-lectively bargain and defnes the scope o bargaining, including the procedures to beused or the evaluation o employees. While the law outlines the parameterso the district/union relationship, collective bargaining agreements generally includemore specifc requirements, such as salary incentives, seniority policies, and how evalu-ations are done.Tis policy guide highlights some o theimportant laws that currently exist in Cali-ornia related to teacher evaluation issues.Te implementation, enorcement, andmonitoring o these laws are generally leup to the districts and teacher unions in thisstate—or to the courts i the two sides dis-agree on how to interpret them.
EVALUATION FREQUENCY AND CONTENT
State law species minimum frequencies
Critics o current laws and policies say thatteacher quality could be improved i teach-ers were evaluated more requently andgiven constructive eedback. Caliornia law re-quires regular, but relatively ew, evaluations.Under Caliornia’s Education Code[44660-44665], teacher evaluations mustoccur on a regular basis. eachers with proba-tionary status must be evaluated at least onceevery school year. Permanent employees may be evaluated every other year, or less. Perma-nent teachers who have been employed at least10 years in the same district and whose previ-ous evaluation was at least satisactory may beevaluated once every fve years. Any teacher who receives an unsatisactory evaluationmust be evaluated annually until a satisactory evaluation is achieved or dismissal occurs.Beyond the minimum requirements, dis-tricts and unions are ree to negotiate morerequent evaluations and to determine pro-cedures, such as whether teachers are givenadvance notice beore ormal observationso their classroom.
State law also species the content
Current debates oen ocus on whetherstudent assessment data can be used toevaluate teachers, perhaps based in part ona misconception.Since the enactment o the Stull Act in1971, Caliornia law has required that dis-tricts set standards and evaluate teachers onthem. In 1999, lawmakers added that teach-ers be evaluated on state standards as meas-ured by state criterion-reerenced tests.Te Education Code [44660-44665]requires local school boards to establishstandards o student achievement at eachgrade in each subject and to evaluate certif-cated personnel in the ollowing our areas:
the progress o students toward reachingthe district’s standards and, i applicable,the state content standards “as measured by state-adopted, criterion-reerencedassessments”;
“instructional techniques and strategies”;
“adherence to curricular objectives”; and
“the establishment and maintenance o asuitable learning environment, within thescope o the employee’s responsibilities.”Te Education Code also requires thatevaluations include recommendations orimprovement as needed. And the state’sGovernment Code[3543-3543.8]says dis-tricts and unions must bargain over pro-cedures to be used to evaluate employees.
SALARIES AND PERMANENT STATUS
Teacher salaries are generally based ontraining and years of experience
How state laws and collective bargaining shape the way teachers are evaluated, paid, and dismissed in California
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