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Supt. Cortines calls for statewide reforms

August 13, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Retiring Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Ramon Cortines has urged the California legislature to change current state laws governing teacher retention."The vast majority of teachers at LAUSD are very effective," Cortines said, "however there are some who clearly are not."

Cortines has said he wants effective teachers in every classroom and has created a task force of educators, union leaders, parents and community members to determine the way forward in effective instruction. However, he said there needs to be reform on a broader statewide level to achieve the goals established by the task force.

Cortines' suggested reforms include revising the evaluation system for teachers to make it easier to terminate ineffective teachers, extending the current two-year teacher probation period to four years before granting permanent tenure and allowing school districts to prioritize layoffs to prevent an exodus from disadvantaged schools which are often staffed by newer teachers who are the first to be terminated during budget cuts.

Cortines announced in July he plans to retire by next spring.