Monday, January 03, 2011

L.A. teachers union won't accept pay cuts, 'value-added' evaluations

There is an education reform earthquake happening in LA, where until very recently the powerful teachers union, UTLA, made no pretense of reform – unlike New York, for example – and simply bullied and steamrolled any opposition.  Well, that's finally changing for a variety of reasons, most notably what I wrote about two weeks ago ( LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gave an astonishing speech in which he broke with the union and labeled them "the most powerful defenders of the status quo" and "an unwavering roadblock" to needed reforms.  Not surprisingly, they've labeled him a "turncoat" who is "speaking from a lack of knowledge of what's going on at his own schools," which is a real knee-slapper:


The state's largest teachers union Wednesday fired an early salvo in contract negotiations, serving notice that it wouldn't accept pay cuts easily and that it won't consider linking teacher evaluations to student test scores in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The afternoon news conference, at union headquarters in Koreatown, was a familiar exercise in rallying the rank and file. But it also marked a renewed effort to lead the public debate over school reform, coming shortly after L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa labeled United Teachers Los Angeles the primary obstacle to improving schools.

The union "today is setting the record straight," said vice president Julie Washington, who heads the union's negotiating team and is running for president. "We are not the villains of education. We are the solution. We are dedicated and care about the children and the community. … We are going on the record pushing back."


L.A. teachers union won't accept pay cuts, 'value-added' evaluations

UTLA leaders dispute criticisms from the mayor and others, but reiterate their firm opposition to furloughs, larger classes and use of students' test scores to evaluate teachers' performance.


December 16, 2010,0,40204.story

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