BESE introduces changes to teacher evaluation system, some educators still not sold

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 10:10pm

Compass, the evaluation system used to deem Louisiana teachers effective or not is getting a re-vamp.

"It’s absolutely something that's getting the results that's expected because it's helping teachers get better. We want it to be even better at helping teachers get better. Which is why we're listening to teachers, why we're making some enhancements. To be clearer with teachers about what's expected of them," White explained of the changes.

State Superintendent John White said the changes come after the department listened to input on the system by thousands of teachers. And while some educators and teachers have said they're happy changes are being made, they believe the problem still lies with the evaluation system itself.

"He (the superintendent) needs to make these changes that he's suggesting, and we agree with them, but there's many more. We agree there's still going to be problems, there's a lot of chaos in our schools and it's also unfair," Joyce Haynes with the Louisiana Association of Educators said.

“The conversations that are being had at the department level and the superintendent saying, 'it's not an exact science, it's not perfect. That's where the conversations should have begun," Steve Monaghan with the Louisiana Federation of Teachers added.

The changes, while not written in stone yet, include making end of year goals for students clearer and creating video libraries of effective and ineffective teaching habits. Still many powerful teachers' unions are saying the changes won't make the system fair.

"Teachers want to be evaluated. They want to be told how to do their craft better like anybody wants to have that information. What they're getting now is not that. it's an assignment of a label, a score, that's going to be now adjusted because it's causing political backlash," Monagh said.

While the changes were introduced to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, there is still a 90 day period where public comment will be taken.

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