L.A. schools chief says district will adopt ‘value added’ approach

Howard Blume

Cortines wants the method based on student test scores to count for at least 30% of instructor evaluations. But the teachers union must consent.
Revamping teacher evaluations with the goal of helping instructors improve has become an urgent priority in the nation’s second-largest school district, Ramon C. Cortines, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, said in an address to administrators Wednesday.
Cortines said the district will develop and adopt a “value added” method that determines teachers’ and schools’ effectiveness based on student test scores. And he told a packed Hollywood High School auditorium that he’s committed to using these ratings for at least 30% of a teacher’s evaluation. The plan would require the consent of the teachers union.
In a later interview, Cortines also said he was disappointed that California lost its bid Tuesday for $700 million in federal Race to the Top school improvement grants. L.A. Unified’s share would have been $153 million.