AB 5, the once positive bill designed to improve teacher evaluations in California, will move forward, moved out of committee today.
Click here to read John Fensterwald's article about it.
While AB 5 could have been a step in the right direction for education reform, creating an improved teacher evaluation system that would provide meaningful feedback to teachers and use data to inform results, it has since been watered down and picked clean of almost all of its meaningful kids-first changes. While it does require slightly more frequent evaluations and evaluator training, it does not rectify some of the most pressing issues surrounding teacher layoffs. It does not address California’s disastrous seniority-based, quality-blind layoff system, known as “last in first out.” It also fails to fix the current pass-fail evaluation system, which is completely devoid of meaningful feedback for teachers, and it does not in any way seek to specify how the evaluations should impact school staffing decisions.
Most remarkably, adoption of AB 5 would actually weaken teacher effectiveness in California by removing the section of the Stull Act that explicitly states that data should be integrated into teacher evaluation. This could potentially undermine one of the only bright spots in California’s teacher effectiveness efforts – the recent court ruling which has pushed LAUSD and UTLA to AB 5 now represents a definitive step backwards, away from positive reforms that put the needs of kids and teachers first.