June 18 | San Diego Union-Tribune

A plainly written 1971 state law called the Stull Act was passed to “establish a uniform system of evaluation and assessment of the performance of certificated personnel within each school district of the state.” The law specifically said that student performance must be included as part of teacher and administrator evaluations.

But a not-so-funny thing happened to the Stull Act over the years. As teacher unions’ power grew, not just pay and benefits but school policies began to be included in collective bargaining agreements for new contracts. Among such policies: how teachers are evaluated. In the biggest California district, Los Angeles Unified, the contract flatly bans evaluating teachers and administrators based on student performance.

This is bonkers, and last week Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant ruled that it is also a clear violation of the Stull Act. Chalfant was acting in a lawsuit filed by the EdVoice reform group on behalf of a handful of unnamed students and parents.

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