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California Teacher Performance Initiative (2014)

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Two versions of a California Teacher Performance Initiative were approved for circulation in California as a contenders for the November 4, 2014, ballot as initiated state statutes. Two versions of the initiative (#13-0058, #13-0062) were filed and both were approved for circulation.

Supporters of the initiative referred to it as the "High Quality Teachers Act of 2014."

The measure would have required that when teachers are laid off, the decisions about which teachers to lay off are to be based on objective standards of teacher performance rather than on seniority. According to the language of the proposed law, teacher performance would be assessed partly by student test scores.[1] The initiative, if approved, will also streamline the termination process for teachers convicted of sex crimes.[2]

Matt David, the initiative’s sponsor, withdrew the measure after learning that a new annual teacher evaluation could be upwards of $1 billion. He said that he will likely put forward the initiative again in 2016.[3]

Text of measure

Version 13-0058

Ballot title:

School Teachers. Performance-Based Layoffs. Dismissals. Initiative Statute.

Official summary:

"Requires school districts to use a classroom teacher's performance ratings, rather than seniority, to determine layoffs. Requires districts to conduct specified evaluations of each teacher's performance annually. Requires these annual evaluations to measure teacher performance by, at a minimum, student academic progress, classroom observations and instructional practices, parent and student feedback, and teacher partnerships with community members and organizations. Provides that teachers convicted of certain violent, serious, or sexual felonies are to be automatically dismissed and permanently barred from employment as a teacher in the state."

Fiscal impact statement:

(Note: The fiscal impact statement for a California ballot initiative authorized for circulation is jointly prepared by the state's Legislative Analyst and its Director of Finance.)

"Costs ranging from several hundreds of millions of dollars to over $1 billion annually in the initial three years for school districts to conduct more frequent and intensive teacher evaluations, with annual costs dropping to between one-third and one-half in subsequent years. One-time costs in the tens of millions of dollars to in excess of $100 million for school districts to create new teacher evaluation systems, with ongoing annual costs to manage the new systems of tens of millions of dollars."

Version 13-0062

Ballot title:

School Teachers. Performance-Based Layoffs and Rehiring. Dismissals. Initiative Statute.

Official summary:

"Requires school districts to use a classroom teacher's performance ratings, rather than seniority, to determine layoffs and make rehiring decisions. Requires districts to conduct specified evaluations of each teacher's performance annually. Requires these annual evaluations to measure teacher performance by, at a minimum, student academic progress, classroom observations and instructional practices, parent and student feedback, and teacher partnerships with community members and organizations. Provides that teachers convicted of certain violent, serious, or sexual felonies are to be automatically dismissed and permanently barred from employment as a teacher in the state."

Fiscal impact statement:

(Note: The fiscal impact statement for a California ballot initiative authorized for circulation is jointly prepared by the state's Legislative Analyst and its Director of Finance.)

"Costs ranging from several hundreds of millions of dollars to over $1 billion annually in the initial three years for school districts to conduct more frequent and intensive teacher evaluations, with annual costs dropping to between one-third and one-half in subsequent years. One-time costs in the tens of millions of dollars to in excess of $100 million for school districts to create new teacher evaluation systems, with ongoing annual costs to manage the new systems of tens of millions of dollars."

Support

Matt David, who filed the request for a ballot title for Initiative #130058 with the Attorney General of California, works for StudentsFirst.[4] David, who once served as the communications director for Arnold Schwarzenegger, told the press that he submitted the initiative of his own volition and that it has not yet been endorsed by StudentsFirst: "I would hope to get their support on this, assuming the language isn't changed (by the attorney general). But they haven't taken a position yet and I've advised other groups not to take a position until we get the language finalized.[1]

The language filed with the initiative says, "Today, there are plenty of high quality teachers available, but local school districts are not able to make sure all of our children have access to a high quality teacher because local districts are currently forced to retain teachers based on how long they have been on the job."[4]

Opposition

If Initiative #13-0058 or #13-0062 qualified for the ballot, it would have almost certainly been opposed by the California Teachers Association.[4]

Path to the ballot

See also: Signature requirements for ballot measures in California
  • Matt David submitted a letter requesting a title and summary for Version #13-0058 on December 16, 2013.
  • Matt David submitted a letter requesting a title and summary for Version #13-0062 on December 18, 2013.
  • A title and summary for Version #13-0058 were issued by the Attorney General of California's on February 14, 2014.
  • A title and summary for Version #13-0062 were issued by the Attorney General of California's on February 14, 2014.
  • 504,760 valid signatures were required for qualification purposes.
  • Supporters had until July 14, 2014, to collect and submit the required number of signatures, as petition circulators are given 150 days to circulate petitions.
  • The Secretary of State’s suggested signature filing deadline for the November 4, 2014, ballot was April 18, 2014. This means that if supporters had submitted enough valid signatures by July 14 but after April 18, the measure could have been pushed back as far as the next statewide general election, in November 2016.
  • Matt David withdrew the initiative on April 1, 2014.[3]

External links

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References


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