L.A. Schools Chief: Weed Out Weak Teachers

By Dakarai I. Aarons — December 18, 2009 1 min read
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With more budget cuts looming, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines is ordering principals to give low-performing, newer teachers the boot before tenure makes it difficult to oust them.

Teachers in the nation’s second-largest school district are automatically given tenure after two years if their principals do not object. A move is afoot to require principals to actively recommend teachers for tenure, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Cortines credited the Times for inspiring him to move quickly on this issue. Reporters at the paper recently presented him with data showing that the district—like many others—fails to give meaningful evaluations to teachers before they are granted tenure. That story is appearing in Sunday’s editions.

“The days of coddling ineffective teachers, or allowing them to be moved to another school, are over,” he told the Times. “No more excuses.”

The Golden State has well-documented budget woes that are likely to lead to more layoffs for L.A. and other California school districts next year. Cortines has also asked for better monitoring of those tenured professionals with negative evaluations and those administrators who have not yet become permanent.

A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.