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Fisher v. United States&Nbsp;

United States District Court, D. Arizona

August 20, 2014

Roy and Josie Fisher, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
United States of America, Plaintiff-Intervenor,
v.
Anita Lohr, et al., Defendants, and Sidney L. Sutton, et al., Defendants-Intervenors, Maria Mendoza, et al., Plaintiffs, United States of America, Plaintiff-Intervenor
v.
Tucson Unified School District No. One, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

DAVID C. BURY, District Judge.

On June 3, 2014, the Special Master filed a Report and Recommendation (R&R) (Doc. 1612) relating to TUSD's Action Plan for Recruitment and Retention, which is TUSD's implementation plan for the Unitary Status Plan (USP), ยง IV, Administrators and Certificated Staff, subsection C, Outreach and Recruitment, and subsection F, Retention..

Section IV.C.3 requires the following:

By April 1, 2013, the District shall develop and implement a plan to recruit qualified African American and Latino candidates for open administrator and certificated staff positions. The plan shall be developed by the District recruiter with the input of a racially and ethnically diverse recruitment team comprised of school-level and district-level administrators, certificated staff and human resources personnel. The plan shall address any and all disparities identified in the Labor Market Analysis.
a. The District recruiter, with input from the recruitment team, shall take the following steps to implement the recruitment plan, and shall modify it annually based on a review of the previous year's recruiting data and the effectiveness of past recruiting practices in attracting qualified African American and Latino candidates and candidates with Spanish language bilingual certifications. The recruitment plan shall:
i. Establish a nationwide recruiting strategy, based at minimum on the outcome of the Labor Market Analysis, which shall include specific techniques to recruit African American and Latino candidates and candidates with Spanish language bilingual certifications from across the country, including through: (i) advertising job vacancies on national websites and publications, including career websites, national newspapers, education publications, and periodicals targeting African American and Latino communities; (ii) recruiting at Historically Black Colleges and Universities ("HBCUs"), through the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities ("HACU"), and at other colleges and universities with teacher preparation programs serving significant numbers of African American and/or Latino students, including providing vacancy announcements to campus career services offices; and (iii) attending local and state-wide job, diversity, and education fairs and/or expos;
ii. Create a process to invite retired African American and Latino administrators and certificated staff to be considered for open positions for which they are qualified;
iii. Incorporate strategies for building and utilizing partnerships with local employers that recruit nationally to promote TUSD employment opportunities to their prospective employees and their families;
iv. Develop local programs to identify and support local high school, college and university students to interest them in teaching careers, including, for college and university students, exploring and promoting opportunities for teaching in the District; and
v. Encourage and provide support for African American and Latino non-certificated staff (e.g., paraprofessionals) who are interested in pursuing certification.

Section F, Retention, requires the following:

1. The District shall adopt measures intended to increase the retention of African American and Latino administrators and certificated staff, including, but not limited to, doing and/or taking into account the following:
a. Commencing with the effective date of this Order, on an ongoing basis, evaluating whether there are disparities in the attrition rates of African American and Latino administrators or certificated staff compared to other racial and ethnic groups. If disparities are identified, the District shall, on an ongoing basis, assess the reason(s) for these disparities and develop a plan to take appropriate corrective action. If a remedial plan to address disparate attrition is needed, it shall be developed and implemented in the semester subsequent to the semester in which the attrition concern was identified;
b. Surveying teachers each year using instruments to be developed by the District and disaggregating survey results by race, ethnicity, and school site to assess teachers' overall job satisfaction and their interest in continuing to work for the District. These surveys shall be anonymous; and
c. Conducting biannual focus groups of representative samples of District certificated staff to gather perspectives on the particular concerns of these staff in hard-to-fill positions (e.g., ELL and special education teachers) and/or who have been hired to fulfill a need specifically identified in this Order.

TUSD initially proposed a summary draft of the Outreach, Recruitment and Retention (ORR) Plan in July 2013, and after revisions to flesh out the details of the ORR Plan in February, March, and April, 2014, the Plaintiffs Mendoza, with Plaintiffs Fisher joining, (R&R (Doc. 1612), Ex. B), asked the Special Master for a R&R to the District's April 24, 2014, version of the Plan, id., Ex. A-4. Apparently, there was another version, May 5, 2014, without substantive changes, and subsequent to the R&R, on May 22, 2014, TUSD agreed to further changes, id., Ex. F:ORR, which the Special Master concluded resolves some of the issues he had raised in the R&R on behalf of the class-Plaintiffs. The class-Plaintiffs would not agree to withdrawal of the R&R, therefore, the Special Master noted areas needing resolution and those he considered moot. In addition to the Special Master's recommendations, the Plaintiffs Mendoza filed objections to the R&R for omissions of ...


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