Doe v. Antioch Teacher Evaluation Lawsuit in Court

Today, a group of California teachers, parents and concerned taxpayers seeking to ensure that public school educators are meaningfully evaluated, as required by state law, will have their day in court. Their lawsuit, Doe v. Antioch, asks the California Superior Court of Contra Costa County to compel thirteen school districts across the state to evaluate educators based, in part, on student learning and growth.

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“Every student deserves an education that prepares them for success in college and life,” said Joshua Lipshutz, lead co-counsel for the Doe v. Antioch plaintiffs. “We need effective teachers in every classroom, and we need meaningful teacher evaluations to ensure we are meeting that goal.”

Originally enacted by the California Legislature in 1971, the Stull Act — California’s existing teacher evaluation law — requires school districts to evaluate teachers performance by considering student progress toward district and state academic standards, as measured by state-adopted standardized tests.

Yet, these 13 school districts, under pressure from their local teachers unions, have ignored this common sense law and used the collective bargaining process to roll back these critical accountability measures. Doe v. Antioch simply asks the Court to compel the districts to follow the Stull Act and meaningfully evaluate their teachers.

Do you agree that meaningful teacher evaluations must include evidence of student learning and growth? Click now to share your support for the #DoevAntioch plaintiffs.

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“California law is clear – all students deserve great teachers, and school districts have an obligation to meaningfully evaluate those teachers,” said Dave Welch, founder of Students Matter. “It’s not up to local districts and unions to pick and choose which laws are enforced and which laws are ignored. It’s time to take students’ rights to a quality public education off the bargaining table and start maintaining a standard of excellence so that every child, in every classroom, has the opportunity to succeed.”

Over the last few years, the lack of compliance with California’s teacher evaluation laws has received growing attention. In February 2016, Assemblymember Shirley Weber, a longtime champion of education equality in the California Legislature, introduced AB 2826, a bill aimed at refocusing teacher evaluations on student progress and ensuring that districts meaningfully evaluate educators based on multiple measures of academic growth and performance. Students Matter has endorsed AB 2826, and the California Senate Education Committee unanimously approved the bill on June 29, 2016.