November 17 | LAWeekly

33,000 teachers, now always stamped "satisfactory," might finally get graded

By Hillel Aron

Teachers call it "getting stulled." Newbie teachers in Los Angeles classrooms are evaluated once annually for the first two years. Then, with that minimal experience under their belts, they're almost all granted automatic lifelong tenure. After that, evaluations of thousands of these still-green Los Angeles Unified School District teachers become less frequent.

The teacher evaluation is no big deal, a four-page form with categories such as "Uses the results of multiple assessments to guide instruction" and "Regularly arrives on time, starts class on schedule."

Each item offers three check-box choices to indicate the teacher's ability: "Meets," "Needs Improvement" or "No."

No check box exists in the vast LAUSD for "Exceeds."

These teacher ratings, which parents and the public are not allowed to see, are called Stull Evaluations, hence, getting stulled. The ratings are widely seen as a rubber stamp, with 95 percent of the district's 33,000 teachers rated satisfactory. With all that apparently solid teaching going on, only 56 percent of students graduate from high school.

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