State labor board challenges L.A. teacher evaluations

L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy says the district has not violated labor law with its new teacher evaluation system.
L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy says the district has not violated labor law with its new teacher evaluation system.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

California’s labor oversight board has issued a complaint alleging that the Los Angeles Unified School District improperly established a new evaluation system for teachers.

The nation’s second-largest school system erred by failing to reach agreement on key elements with the teachers union, as required by law, according to the L.A. regional office of the Public Employment Relations Board.

The allegations are contained in a complaint dated Sept. 4. It faults the district for unilaterally adopting a four-level evaluation system that would rate a teacher as ineffective, developing, effective or highly effective.


The complaint also accuses the school district of creating “lead teacher” positions related to the new evaluation without completing the negotiating process.

The labor board “will attempt to mediate a settlement,” said union attorney Jesus E. Quinonez. “If no mutual agreement is reached, an unfair practice trial will be held before a state administrative law judge.”

Last week, the union filed an unrelated unfair practice charge, alleging that teachers were transferred from Crenshaw High and the City of Angels alternative school for engaging in union activity that is protected by law.

L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy declined to comment on the specifics of the labor board filing. But he characterized recent union legal actions as “a strategy to slow down work that was already negotiated.”

“We are moving forward with the process developed by and with teachers,” he said.

Deasy noted that the district has not installed the four-tier rating format for a teacher’s final evaluation, pending further talks with the union.

Quinonez agreed but countered that the four tiers were already in use for teacher observations — a pratice, he said, that also needed union consent.


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