March 20, 2017

Educators for Excellence-Los Angeles Statement on the Introduction of Teacher and Student Success Act

March 20, 2017 (Los Angeles)— Educators for Excellence-Los Angeles, a teacher-led organization, responded to the introduction today of the Teacher and Student Success Act (AB 1220) by Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D. This bill would extend the current time to tenure from two years to three, and even provide optional fourth and fifth years, with mentoring and other professional development prioritized for struggling teachers. E4E-Los Angeles is a proud sponsor of this legislation, along with Teach Plus.

“The Teacher and Student Success Act is being introduced at a critical time, as our state is preparing to usher in a new generation of teachers over the next decade. This bill rises to the challenge of addressing how we can raise the prestige and impact of the teaching profession to meet the needs of teachers and their students,” said Ama Nyamekye, Executive Director of E4E-Los Angeles. “E4E-Los Angeles members have been advocating for this reform since the release of our policy recommendations in 2015, which called on legislators to preserve job protections while making tenure a more meaningful process and professional milestone. As an organization committed to elevating teacher voices, we applaud Assemblymember Weber for not only taking on this priority issue, but also for hearing our recommendations and working collaboratively with teachers to design a solution.”

"Teaching is a craft that requires time, feedback and support to really develop," said Erin Haddad-Fitzgerald, who has been teaching in LAUSD for more than a decade and also serves as a teacher mentor and member of Educators for Excellence. "AB 1220 honors teaching by making tenure a more meaningful professional milestone that is focused on how educators grow and develop as practitioners."

Currently, California teachers only have two years in which to demonstrate effectiveness in the classroom. In reality, this timeline is shortened to 18 months due to the March 15th deadline for districts to offer tenure. In addition, if a teacher does not demonstrate classroom readiness before a tenure decision can be made, they currently don’t get a second chance in that district. The Teacher and Student Success Act honors the needs of students and the challenges early-career teachers may face by both raising the bar for earning tenure while providing more time and prioritized support for teachers who initially struggle.