"School Climate is an investment in our future because we are investing in the creation of an equitable educational setting for all of our students."
- Donia Horton, fifth grade teacher
"Our hope is that the recommendations do not end the conversation on teacher pay – but rather spark new conversations in classrooms all across Los Angeles."
- Hilary Estes, sixth grade social studies and intervention teacher
The 2014 Educators 4 Excellence-Los Angeles Teacher Policy Team reports are united through the theme of “paying it forward,” and the idea that investing now in our teachers and our schools ensures greater stability and better results for students in the future.
The teachers who researched and wrote the reports worked with their colleagues to identify their most pressing concerns, researched local and national models and interviewed their colleagues, communities and students. The innovative solutions they have proposed are designed to make schools, teachers, and students more successful.
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In the next 10 years, California will need to hire over 30,000 educators in math and science alone to keep up with an impending wave of retirements.
At the same time, the teaching profession is facing new opportunities in Common Core standards, assessments and technology. So teachers decided to seize this moment of transition to focus on how compensation could be used as a lever to attract, develop and keep top talent in the teaching profession.
The 13 educators on this Teacher Policy Team focused on Differentiated Compensation came together to review the research and study the implementation of various compensation systems from districts across the country.
The result is a rational transition plan for capitalizing on the strengths of our current compensation system, but allowing it to evolve to meet the needs of a new generation of teachers, a new generation of students and the new needs of our school systems.
A youth-led movement has been brewing in Los Angeles for decades. Their demand is simple and clear: they want safe, high-quality schools for every student.
In 2013, they led the passage of the School Climate Bill of Rights, which promises to end harmful discipline policies that push students, particularly boys of color, out of our schools, invest in smarter alternatives to suspension, and provide clearer school climate data. But even with this momentous law in place, the district still has much work to do in making its vision a reality.
The 13 educators on this Teacher Policy Team focused on School Climate came together to review the research, survey our colleagues and students and look at successful school climate policy models across the state and country.
The result of this hard work is a set of strategies that the state, district and our local schools can use to improve school climate and ensure all children, regardless of race, gender, disability status or zip code, gets the education they deserve.