Teacher Quality Roadmap: Improving Policies and Practices in LAUSD

Written at the request of the United Way of
Greater Los Angeles, this National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) report
details LAUSD’s teacher policies and offers a passel of advice for improving
them. Focusing on five teacher-quality standards (teacher assignment,
evaluations, tenure, compensation, and work schedules), NCTQ organizes its
reform recommendations into three categories: those that the district central
office can undertake itself, those that require changes to the
collective-bargaining agreement, and those that depend on changes in state
policy. There’s a lot here. When looking at teacher assignment, and the related
teacher hiring, for example, NCTQ calls out the district’s lack of selectivity
(only one third of its faculty graduated from a either a “most” or “more”
selective school, per the U.S. News and
World Report
rankings). In response, the authors urge the district to establish
an earlier resignation-notification date to allow principals more flexibility
in filling vacancies. At the state level, it urges the expansion of
California’s “lemon law” to give principals the right of refusal to teacher
transfers they don’t want. Consider this report not just a roadmap but an atlas
to guide both LAUSD and other districts (in California and beyond) as they look
to revamp the quality of their instructional workforce.

Emily Cohen and Priya Varghese, “Teacher
Quality Roadmap: Improving Policies and Practices in LAUSD
,” (Washington, D.C.: National Council on Teacher Quality, June

Marena Perkins is a Research Intern at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute