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Article 12. School-Based Management and Advanced Career Opportunities for Classroom Teachers Programs   

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(a) The Legislature finds that a primary goal of every public school should be the creation of effective and productive learning environments for pupils. Increasing the educational effectiveness and productivity of public schools may require new ways of organizing instructional and administrative staff which increase the collective investment of all schoolsite educators in the success of their school. The Legislature also finds that innovation and change are frequently discouraged by undue administrative and organizational rigidity. The Legislature intends that the school district's role in working with schoolsites be characterized by setting clear goals, providing sites the flexibility to achieve those goals, offering high quality technical assistance and support, and holding sites accountable for performance. The Legislature supports shifting from a rule-based system to a performance-based system of accountability. Those educators closest to pupils should be free, within limits, to create learning environments appropriate to their circumstances. The Legislature declares its intent not to diminish the leadership roles of school districts and site-level administrators. However, the Legislature does intend to encourage schools to foster more professional collaboration where teachers and principals, as an educational team, are responsible for creating the conditions that make more effective teaching and learning possible, and where schoolsite educators as a group have responsibility for the functioning and performance of their school.

It is the further intent of the Legislature to encourage and foster a shift in public school administration from a system that rigidly controls and directs what goes on at the next lowest level, to a system that guides and facilitates professionals in their quest for more productive learning opportunities for their pupils.

(b) The Legislature further finds and declares all of the following:

(1) Hierarchical decisionmaking has tended to reduce the effectiveness and productivity of teachers in educating pupils. A more collaborative decisionmaking process may result in more effective teaching and pupil learning.

(2) A true profession should offer individuals the opportunity for growth in their careers and in their professional lives.

(3) Professional growth brings with it additional responsibilities and accountability, and taking greater responsibility allows the professional to achieve enhanced status and higher salary, and to make a contribution to the profession.

(4) The current staffing structures and compensation structures in California school districts that emphasize seniority in setting teacher salaries and uniformity in teachers' roles do not adequately reward teaching excellence, exceptional achievement, or the assumption of additional educational responsibilities by teachers.

Neither do they provide an incentive for teachers to continue to pursue excellence.

(5) The establishment of advanced career opportunities for teachers, in conjunction with greater teacher involvement in schoolsite management, should increase the variety and responsibility of a teacher's work. It should also provide: (A) a mechanism for restructuring salary schedules to recognize experience, additional work and responsibility; and (B) the opportunity for performance-based contracts with teachers or groups of teachers.

(6) Advanced career opportunities for teachers should also provide an incentive for teachers to remain in teaching, upgrade their skills, and improve the instructional program.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1282, Sec. 1.)