But the action that demonstrates the most contempt for professional educators is the recent appointment of a TFA Corps member to manage the evaluation of 60,000 public school teachers and administrators. It turns out this person has never served as a principal, or evaluator. In fact she has no real teacher credentials, and taught for 2 years in a school that was considered by the Department to be a failing school. As far as we know, she has never demonstrated the ability to improve the education of students. Yet she will rule over a system that will evaluate persons with Masters and PhD's in Education and decades of teaching experience. She will have the power to order the firing and destruction of the careers (even terminate the certification) of thousands of qualified teachers. The person who held the position over the Act 54 evaluation system before her also had no teacher credentials, and never taught a day in the classroom yet was allowed to train principals in the new VAM and COMPASS systems. Educators who have put up with numerous attacks on the profession by Jindal and White are now expressing outrage over these latest humiliations of the teaching profession.
Please click on this link to The Advocate story about the credentials (or lack thereof) of the state director of the teacher evaluation system. Take the time to read some of the many comments at the end of the article by present and former teachers and by members of the public. One of the commenters pointed out that this is like letting an intern rule on the employment of experienced physicians. Would Doctors stand for this? There is not one positive comment on this issue and no defenders of this action. Educators have a right to be outraged!
Superintendent White keeps saying in his speeches that he wants to “empower” teachers and school administrators, but his actions are only “empowering” amateurs to make decisions that affect the careers of the real educators. I just heard a description of one of the evaluator training sessions last week where this amateur teacher (state director of COMPASS) took it upon herself to fuss at highly experienced and qualified administrators. What an insult!
1. Sponsor a petition at your school. The following is a sample petition to BESE:
The undersigned professional educators are acutely aware that the new educator evaluation system mandated by Act 54 of 2010 and Act 1 or 2012 could have a great impact on the careers and welfare of many public school educators. We believe that proper credentials and educational experience are important requirements for any managers at the Louisiana Department of Education level who are charged with the implementation of this program. We therefore respectfully request that BESE require that all managers of the evaluation program have proper education credentials. In addition, only persons with extensive classroom and supervision experience should be allowed to administer the teacher and principal evaluation programs. Any lesser requirements will amount to disrespect for the education profession in Louisiana and will discredit the entire evaluation program.
Mail the petition to Ms Penny Dastugue, President, BESE, P. O. Box 94064, Baton Rouge, LA 70804.
2. The following is a sample email to BESE and to our legislators:
Dear BESE or ( Legislative member): Teachers and principals in our school are outraged that the new educator evaluation system mandated by Act 54 of 2010 and Act 1 of 2012 is being managed by persons with no valid education credentials. We refuse to be humiliated by having our careers put in jeopardy by persons who are not qualified to judge our work. Please take all necessary actions to correct this unfair situation. Get the BESE email addresses by clicking on this link. Get your legislator email by looking him/her up by clicking on this link.
Thanks for all you do as an educator,