The Blog at CTA

Educators Urge Senate Education Committee to Reject SB 441 (Calderon)

Teacher-Opposed "Evaluation" Measure Would Undermine Educational Excellence Efforts

Educators are getting in touch width members of The Senate Education Committee to urge them to defeat a poorly conceived teacher evaluation bill on Wednesday, April 24.

Unlike a teacher-backed comprehensive approach that is needed to support teachers and improve student learning, SB 441 by Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) undermines the usefulness of an evaluation system by focusing on just four unproven measures of performance that the bill’s backers “assume” will boost teacher effectiveness.

By focusing on student test scores, the bill fails to  provide a comprehensive look at curriculum or student achievement and ignores the professional performance of teachers. The bill requires student test scores to be included in teacher evaluations—even if the data is unreliable or faulty.

SB 441 also eliminates collective bargaining from the teacher evaluation process. The bill aims to silence the voices of teachers in this important method of improving teaching. Teacher input into the local evaluation process is vitally important to improving the practice of teaching.

The measure is supported by Michelle Rhee—the disgraced former Chancellor of Washington, D.C. schools, who is involved in a scandal over allegedly rigged student test scores—and her StudentsFirst organization.  She and StudentsFirst are also seeking to undermine other important elements of due process and collective bargaining.

A quality evaluation system should serve to seek out, document and support good teaching in order to improve instruction and student learning. SB 441 will do nothing to improve the current evaluation process or provide useful feedback to educators, who are dedicated to improving their practice.

Readers interested in contacting Senate Education Committee members can do so by calling them.

Members of the Senate Education Committee are:

Senator Carol Liu (Chair): (916) 651-4025 and (818) 409-0400 Senator Mark Wyland (Vice Chair): (916) 651-4038 and (949) 489-9838 Senator Marty Block: (916) 651-4039 and (619) 645-3133 Senator Lou Correa: (916) 651-4034 and (714) 558-4400 Senator Loni Hancock: (916) 651-4009 and (510) 286-1333 Senator Ben Hueso: (916) 651-4040 and (619) 409-7690 Senator Bob Huff: (916) 651-4029 and (714) 671-9474 Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson: (916) 651-4019 and (805) 965-0862 Senator Bill Monning: (916) 651-4017and (831) 425-0401

Readers can also learn more about the issue by reviewing SB 441 Legislative Information and CTA's SB 441 Talking Points.

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