External Evaluator Conflict of Interest - Immediate Intervention/Underperforming Schools Program
Education Code Section 52053 et seq.
For purposes of the Immediate Intervention/Underperforming Schools Program (II/USP), the evaluation period is defined as the date of contract between the district and the external evaluator for the conduct of the evaluation through the date of the submission of the locally approved action plan to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Local Governing Boards
The external evaluator conflict of interest issue is "locally driven." Each local governing board shall adopt a conflict of interest statement relative to external evaluators. The statement shall define what a "conflict" means and how perceived conflicts of interest are to be investigated and resolved, and shall reflect the general state guidance and cautions, as well as the guidelines set forth below for external evaluators. Local governing boards:
- May contract with external evaluators as school coaches if they wish.
- Shall commit to special analysis of school action plans, which are prepared by evaluators who are to have a coaching role in the implementation of the plans.
External Evaluators participating in the II/USP:
- May not be employees of the district in which they serve as external evaluators.
- Are expected to work with utmost integrity and impartiality in carrying out their evaluation responsibilities.
- Are expected to encourage and assist schools in the consideration of a variety of alternatives with respect to programs, materials, or services and not advocate for specific programs, materials, or services.
- Are expected to work actively to avoid the appearance of any conflict.
- Must resign if any real or apparent conflict develops during the period of evaluation.
In addition, during the evaluation period, organizations serving as external evaluators may provide programs, materials, or services to schools in the district that are not being evaluated, provided no real or apparent conflict develops, e.g., by having the same employees (or contract personnel) participating in the evaluation of one school while providing services to another school in the district (strict separation of functions within the organization).
California Department of Education
The California Department of Education (CDE) shall collect assurances from each district participating in the II/USP that it has a written conflict of interest statement relative to the external evaluator role in keeping with this policy. The CDE shall provide general guidance and cautions to local governing boards regarding conflict of interest issues as necessary.