UNITE-LA Today: Get Ready for Some Acronyms

Last June, UNITE-LA launched the new L.A. Educator Pathways Partnership (LAEPP) Policy Advisory Group as a spinoff of our longstanding LAEPP research group. The new policy group—a part of the L.A. Compact's joint advocacy efforts—comprises thought leaders from LAUSD, LACOE and the region's leading university teacher preparation programs. Its purpose is to provide policy recommendations around teacher training and effectiveness, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and persistent, systemic racism and inequity. Current priorities include supporting alternatives to subject matter competency tests, decreasing financial hardship, and promoting teacher diversity and equity.

The UNITE-LA Research & Evaluation team worked with our Policy team to convene the new Policy Advisory Group and craft budget and policy support letters, which were sent to the Governor's Office and relevant California legislative members. Three out of the four pieces of legislation the LAEPP Policy Advisory Group advocated for are featured in the 2021-22 state budget, including an amendment that allows teacher candidates to demonstrate their competence for basic skills and subject matter knowledge through qualifying coursework instead of standardized assessments.

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