One in three Louisiana public school teachers are considered 'effective'

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POSTED: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 4:27pm

UPDATED: Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 12:45am

Good news for Louisiana public schools. According to recent reviews, one in three public school teachers got a top rating, and 25 percent of East Baton Rouge Parish School teachers were rated "highly effective."

Superintendent Bernard Taylor said being an effective teacher means focusing on the needs of the students. EBR public school teachers ranked four times higher than Ascension Parish schools in the classroom observation part of the review.

However, Taylor said he does not focus on comparisons.

"We're not in the business of comparing ourselves to anyone, but ourselves," Taylor said. "What we look at is, are we spending resources to provide with the assistance they need to give a quality experience to students every day."

Taylor said becoming an effective teacher means knowing how to best meet the needs of the children and tailoring the curriculum around those needs.

"They're not saying 'I'm effective' or 'I'm highly effective, look at me,' but they're saying 'I'm effective and I want to become highly effective' or 'I'm highly effective, and I want to maintain that status, so I'm going to grow my craft, grow my professional knowledge,'" Taylor said.

Taylor said he knows personally how much an effective teacher can help in a student's success.

"I had excellent teachers from kindergarten to grade 12. Excellent teachers.They made learning fun. It was engaging, but there was an atmosphere of support," Taylor said. "I had some very strict teachers, but I never came out of a class not believing that that teacher didn't want me to do well."

East Baton Rouge Public Schools had 4% of teachers who were considered ineffective, which is less than the state's average.

"A teacher who is struggling does not need to be reminded everyday that he or she are struggling. They know, but it's how do you get help to them? We have to coach people up before we coach people out," Taylor said. "So at the end of the day, the investments that we're making in the teachers professional development are yielding results both for students and for teachers, and that is a sign of a district that is moving forward."

Here in Louisiana, nearly 90 percent of teachers were considered effective or highly-effective, while 8 percent are emerging. That means they are trying to improve.   

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