Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Letter to Editor by Dr Lottie Beebe

Dear Readers: The following is a letter to the editor by Dr. Lottie Beebe, one of our truly pro-teacher members of BESE. If you appreciate what Dr Beebe is saying here please send her a "thank you" note or include a thank you as a comment to this blog. We often forget to thank the brave education leaders who support the teaching profession every single day even though the popular fad recently is to blame teachers for issues over which they have little or no control.

Dear Editor:
At its December meeting, BESE received a report on teacher attrition. The report was issued amid concerns from parents, teachers, and school administrators that the new Common Core standards and flawed teacher evaluation systems are driving effective, experienced teachers from the classroom.  State Superintendent of Education John White was quick to note that the report concludes that teacher attrition has remained steady for the past five years, and that the new standards and evaluation systems have had a minimal impact on teacher attrition.  However, the LDOE’s report proves that the concerns of parents and education leaders are correct – effective teachers are leaving the classroom

Although the LDOE report concludes that overall teacher attrition rates have remained steady over a five-year period, it also notes that, from 2012-2014, 16% of the teachers who left the profession were rated “highly effective”, while 12% of the teachers who left the profession were rated “least effective”.  The report is clear that over the past two years a higher percentage of “highly effective” teachers left the classroom than the percentage of ineffective teachers, which is contrary to the stated goals of education reformers. 

The report examines the reasons teachers have left the profession, but not the challenges of finding excellent teachers to replace them.  School administrators across the state are vocal in expressing how challenging it is to hire excellent, qualified teachers while untested standards are implemented and questionable new teacher evaluations are being used to measure teacher success.

The current trend of Louisiana’s schools losing many of its highly effective teachers is alarming considering the research indicating that quality teachers are crucial to positive student outcomes. After spending millions of taxpayer dollars on new curricula and evaluation systems, there is little evidence that this money was wisely invested, particularly with teacher evaluations yielding similar outcomes to those prior to COMPASS (the current teacher evaluation program). 

It appears many of the 2012 reform initiatives are having the opposite effect, driving a high percentage of quality teachers out of the classroom, and making it very difficult to hire quality teachers to replace them.  

It is time for Louisiana's policy makers to heed the data, stop the policies and practices that cost Louisiana its quality teachers, and support the effective teachers that are educating our children. 

Lottie P. Beebe,  Ed. D., lottie_beebe@saintmartinschools.org 
            BESE Representative, District 3
            Breaux Bridge, LA
            Phone:  337.316.8579


Viccbro said...

Thank you Lottie Bebee. I left after 38 years because of the chaos.

Bridget said...

Thank you Dr. Beebe. We appreciate your support. I would also like to add that it is time for our legislators to look at their past decisions and reconsider these failed initiatives. It's time for them to listen to educators and parents. It's time to support schools with resources instead of focusing on testing and teacher evaluations that have nothing to do with educating children.

Jenny said...

Thanks for all you do for our children. With what Arne Duncan is proposing for college teaching programs, I fear what is going to be coming up. I used to think my daughter would be a good teacher, but I am discouraging her from going into the profession. That is very sad. I have noticed our good high school teachers are retiring in record numbers. John White needs to go.

Anonymous said...

Common Core needs to be implemented starting with Kindergarten and follows the student. Too many changes in curriculum. Stick with something instead of constant change. Another thing that needs to be addressed is some parts of ACT I. Supert. should never have more power than the school boards.

Cynthia Kooke said...

Thank you for standing up and speaking out about the chaos our teachers are facing. I retired in 2011 and am grateful that I have not had to endure what our teachers are dealing with on a daily basis and the LACK of support from those in Baton Rouge who are supposed to be educated to the needs of the students and teachers!!! What a shame!!!!