A Call for Collaboration - Open Letter to UTLA from Superintendent Cortines

Dear UTLA Leadership:

As you know we want to work collaboratively with you, and we want to continue our forward momentum as a district. Starting with our Teacher Effectiveness Task Force recommendations in 2009, our district has been committed to supporting employees through a more meaningful growth and development process. The Teacher Growth and Development Cycle has been designed, piloted and implemented with broad stakeholder participation at all levels of the organization from students to teachers to administrators to parents to community partners. Feedback has taken the form of initial involvement in drafting broad recommendations around teacher support and development, ad-hoc committees to draft and develop a framework, surveys, focus groups, broad-based input sessions, regular meetings with labor leadership groups, and a joint UTLA-LAUSD committee. This feedback has informed the very development of, and, ongoing changes to the current Teacher Growth and Development Cycle.

Improvements Made

  • Moving from 61 to 15 focus elements in the Teacher Growth and Development Cycle (TGDC)
  • Functionality changes for a more user-friendly online platform for TGDC
  • Additional training opportunities for all participants in TGDC
  • A more streamlined lesson design template in TGDC
  • Changes in the student survey questions in TGDC
Moving Forward

The impact of this feedback has not always been felt globally so we would like to reinvigorate our collective commitment to working together through “A Call for Collaboration.” We invite UTLA, as well as other stakeholder groups to join us in continuing to strengthen and streamline our Teacher Growth and Development Cycle. Our team will continue many of the structures already in place that engender collaboration while adding in new structures based on feedback from partners in the work (See Attachment A.) Our goals for this renewed focus on collaboration are:
  • Building a greater sense of shared ownership of and efficacy in the work
  • Continuing improvement of the Teacher Growth and Development Cycle
  • Building a widespread understanding of the structures in place to support feedback and collaboration
With these goals in mind, we invite our vested stakeholders to participate in a briefing to share results of the data and feedback staff members have gathered from the 2013-2014 implementation of our Teacher Growth and Development Cycle, and to solicit your reactions on how to best propel the work forward. This briefing is tentatively scheduled for the second week of December and more details will follow. Our team looks forward to discussing this further at the negotiating table.


Ramon C. Cortines
LAUSD Superintendent

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