Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Teacher and Principal Evaluation Proposals

Principal and teacher organizations are hoping to improve the teacher and principal evaluation systems.

In what I believe is a very comprehensive effort to truly improve the seriously flawed Act 54 teacher and principal evaluation system, the Louisiana Association of Principals with support from the two teacher unions (LAE and LFT) has made six proposals to improve the teacher and principal evaluation system. The following is the summary of the six critical changes as they are described at the LAE CAPWIZ website.

1. Remove the override provision mandating a teacher be declared ineffective if either the qualitative or the quantitative part of her/his evaluation is rated as ineffective.

2. Suspend the VAM for the quantitative component of the teacher evaluation, indefinitely.

3. Require student learning targets (SLTs) be developed only between the teacher and her/his immediate supervisor.

4. Remove all quotas for various levels of teacher ratings.

5. Revamp COMPASS to allow for different education specialties, as well as different teaching styles and techniques.

6. Reduce the amount of time principals must spend evaluating teachers who achieve effective status in their first observation.

Note: My blog post of January 6, gives the exact language of the six proposals.

The Louisiana Association of Educators CAPWIZ website (click here) also provides educators with a very efficient contact system for sending their recommendations on to the Act 240 subcommittee of the Accountability Commission, which is charged with making proposals to BESE and the Legislature for changes in the evaluation program. Any educator can participate in the LAE contact system which will also notify participants when this and other proposals go to BESE. You will then have an opportunity to send an email to BESE members.

The Louisiana Federation of Teachers website (click here)   provides educators with an opportunity to fill out a survey on all the various proposals being considered by the Act 240 subcommittee at their February Meeting. I assume the results will also be communicated to the subcommittee members.

Important Warning! LDOE Has a Very Bad Proposal it Wants Adopted

The LDOE has what I believe is a very restrictive and counterproductive proposal for which it is seeking subcommittee approval. This proposal is described in the post below dated Jan 13. This proposal if adopted would pretty much limit all school goal setting by the principal to improving the school SPS every year. The proposal would allow the LDOE to provide "guidance" to principals on how to set such goals. This is a blatant move by John White to base every principal's evaluation almost totally on the new PARCC test scores. If adopted, this would mean that most educators would spend practically all their time in the future in preparing kids for tests. Other subjects, such as the arts, PE, electives, and even social studies, and science . . .  other than English and Math would get almost no emphasis because Common Core testing focuses on Math and ELA.  In my opinion this new rule would turn all public schools into boring, creativity killing, test prep factories. Please ask the subcommittee to oppose this proposal.

If you are an educator who really cares about improving the evaluation system, please go to the web sites given above and express you opinion. If you prefer, you can simply send you own email message directly to the subcommittee members. Here are all their email addresses:;;;;; burnsj@REGENTS.LA.GOV;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; 

The subcommittee will probably be voting on these issues at their meeting on Feb 10. Right now may be your best opportunity to make a real positive change for your profession.