2011-12 Legislative Session
During the 2011-2012 California legislative session – toward the end of which Students Matter filed its groundbreaking first lawsuit Vergara v. California – Students Matter joined a coalition of student advocates to oppose a regressive overhaul of California’s teacher evaluation system.
AB 5 (Fuentes – Teacher Evaluations)
Bill status: Pulled from consideration
Students Matter’s position: OPPOSE
AB 5, sponsored by Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes, would require districts to negotiate every aspect of the evaluation criteria with their local teachers unions, would not require evaluations to include students’ progress on state assessments, would not require annual evaluations for tenured teachers, and would not create aligned standards for teacher evaluations across districts, making district-to-district comparisons impossible. In not requiring evaluations to consider students’ test results, AB 5 would make California ineligible for a federal wavier from No Child Left Behind laws and rob the state of flexibility in allocating $350 million in funding.
Student advocates opposed the bill as a step backward in the nationwide effort to increase accountability in public schools, in order to ensure quality and equity for all students.
Responding to pressure from community groups, civil rights activists, school administrators, teachers, and editorial boards across the state, Assemblymember Fuentes pulled the bill from the legislative docket.
The coalition opposed to AB 5 included Alliance for A Better Community, Children Now, Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement, Democrats for Education Reform, The Education Trust-West, Educators for Excellent, EdVoice, Great Oakland Public Schools, the Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles Urban League, Parent Revolution, Reading and Beyond, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and United Way.