teacher evaluations

The state Dept. of Education has been rolling out all sorts of tests results in the last few weeks – student test scores, teacher evaluations, and school performance calculations.


LAE President Debbie Meaux (right) standing with her predecessor Joyce Haynes at a rally.
Louisiana Association of Educators

Many teachers are frustrated with the new evaluation system, Compass, which was introduced in public schools across the state this year.

"What we want is a more common-sense approach to this evaluation problem," said Debbie Meaux, new president of the Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE), who assumed the role July 15.

She's calling for the state to slow the timeline for the implementation of Compass.

Attempts to slow down parts of a public education overhaul have been quashed.

The Senate Education Committee opted Thursday not to take action on a bill that would have put off changes to the school grading system that take ACT results into account.

Rep. Kenny Havard, who authored the bill, said using the college entrance exam in performance score calculations will penalize schools where career-bound students opt not to prepare for or take the test. Schools graded a “C” or worse by the state can lose students and resources.

Baton Rouge Democrat Rep. Ted James (left) and New Orleans Republican Rep. Kirk Talbot have both proposed bills this session moderating the education overhaul of 2012.
Amy Jeffries / WRKF

Earlier this month, Louisiana's Supreme Court ruled that the way the state's private school voucher program was paid for was unconstitutional. It can't be paid for through the Minimum Foundation Formula, or MFP -- the pool of money that supports public education.

Rep. Kirk Talbot, a Republican from New Orleans who voted in favor of the education overhaul Gov. Bobby Jindal pushed hard for last year, says the missteps in the funding of the voucher program gave some in the legislature, " a little bit of heartburn."

Lawmakers Endorse Delay of Teacher Evaluation Consequences

Apr 25, 2013

The House Education Committee has agreed to a proposal that would delay the disciplinary effects of a new teacher evaluation system for another year while school districts work out any kinks.

Compass -- the evaluation system being rolled out in public schools across the state -- has raised the stakes. Teachers who don’t score highly effective under the new measures face the loss of salary and tenure. Ineffective teachers could lose their jobs.

The state Department of Education says so far attrition has remained steady, but the East Baton Rouge Parish School District is still wary of turnover. Beanka Williams, the coordinator of support programs for EBR, says the district is having job fairs monthly to make sure schools are fully staffed.

Williams has also been fielding questions from anxious teachers since last summer when they were first asked to set goals for what their students would learn this year.
 


The Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana reported earlier this month that the number of its members retiring from jobs in K-12 education jumped by more than 25 percent last year. The spike came after the legislature passed changes to the way teachers are evaluated, compensated and awarded tenure.  

The retirement system’s figures include people retiring from food service, and other non-classroom jobs. And State Superintendent John White says the figures are misleading.

He says the number of teachers leaving the classroom for any reason – including promotion to administrative positions – has in fact remained steady at around 12 percent over the past three years.