United States District Court, D. Arizona
SPECIAL MASTER'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
REGARDING THE ASSIGNMENT AND SUPPORT FOR BEGINNING
D. HAWLEY, SPECIAL MASTER
22, 2019, the District submitted a Court-ordered Supplemental
Notice and Report of Compliance: Certification and Support
for New Teachers at Certain Schools. The Mendoza plaintiffs
filed objections to this notice and report on June 5, 2019.
requires the District to provide support for beginning
teachers, and singles out for special support teachers who
are teaching in schools performing below the District average
and those that are racially concentrated. This means there
are three types of teachers receiving support: (1) first-year
teachers serving in schools that are performing below the
District average and schools that are racially concentrated;
(2) first-year teachers in other schools; and (3) second-year
teachers. In addition, the District provides extra support to
all teachers who have been identified as being inadequate in
particular teaching domains.
category two teachers, the District provides mentoring
support in accord with a model widely used and supported by
reliable research. The same model of support is provided to
second-year teachers, with less time spent by the mentor with
each second-year teacher depending on the teacher's needs
for improved performance. Category one teachers are to be
provided with additional support from mentors, about twice
the mentoring engagement of category two teachers. All
beginning teachers are required to take a range of courses
available that the District calls “job
embedded.” These courses are not job embedded though
they are seemingly job related. The courses should not count
as meeting the mentoring requirements of the USP and the
related action plan.
to the District's Plan
Mendoza plaintiffs argue that the District has provided
conflicting information on the number of teachers in the
first category. In addition, they argue that the District
should revise the paperwork that:
1. Provides justification for placing beginning teachers in
low performing schools and those that are racially
2. Confirms that the District did all it could to appoint
more experienced teachers in low performing schools and those
that are racially concentrated.
3. Describes the “mitigating” conditions that
would facilitate effective teaching by the category one
teachers (e.g., smaller class size).
Special Master believes that the form developed by the
District to capture the information in the three points above
is adequate. See Exhibit 1. Space could be provided
for the back of the form to allow more extended commentary.
The purpose of this form is to provide basic information to
identify potential issues and problems. If it is determined
that there are issues that need to be resolved, that would
require a more extensive inquiry in any case. Experience will
tell if there is any need for more extensive exposition in
the initial process. The proposed system lends itself easily
to the capturing of information, its preliminary analysis and
recommendations for further action.
Mendoza plaintiffs expressed concern that there is no mention
here of how the District would remedy teacher shortcomings
that were identified in implementing this plan. The District
does have a process for helping teachers who are ineffective
in particular ways in order to improve their performance.
There is no need for the Court to demand that the District do
what it is already doing.
Court should require the District to identify the number of
teachers in each of the three categories above over the past
two years. Using its formula for assigning mentors to
teachers, the District should identify the number of mentors
that it is necessary for the District to hire using the