The Louisiana teachers unions have offered up legislation that would revoke value-added teacher assessments, reinstate tenure and allow for school boards to have the final say over personnel matters. Both union-backed bills were blocked in committee earlier this month.
Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, 50 percent of evaluations for teachers in academic classes will be based on the LEAP and iLEAP test scores, while the other 50 percent will be based more on subjective criteria built around classroom observations to determine how effective instructors are in motivating students.But Dr. Michael Walker-Jones, executive director of the LAE, is adamantly opposed to using standardized tests as part of teacher evaluations.
“What the unions are trying to do is to eliminate the idea that student performance should figure into teacher evaluation.” “We have been hit with this argument that says we don’t want to include student achievement as part of the teacher evaluation, and this is nonsense.” Under the new system, a teacher would have to be ranked as “highly-effective” for five out of their first six years to receive tenure. After being rated as ineffective after one year, a teacher would lose tenure and become an “at will” employee. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) applies to the bottom 10 percent of teachers statewide.
After three-years of ineffective ratings, a teacher could lose their certification. .”Stephanie Desselle, the vice-president of the Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL), noted that the education community is responsible for implementing the new evaluation system.“Take a look at the pilot program and you will see that the new evaluation system is being designed and field tested by the educators,” she said. “The people who are the experts in teacher evaluation are the ones who are doing this, so the education experts are involved.
“But since Louisiana is ranked 47th in the nation [out of 50 states] in educational attainment, it’s clear to me that I’m not the only one who lacks educational expertise.”