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ACT 240 Subcommittee Recommendations -- January 6th 2015

The Act 240 Subcommittee met on January 5th, 2015 to discuss potential revisions to the Teacher and administrator Evaluation Process.  One thing that was very clear is that there will be a major shift for principals as the following items are being proposed:

  • Principals should set their goals based on school performance score improvement
  • Support for School Leaders
  • Expand the TAP Initiative
  • Develop a Statewide Principal Mentorship Program

Also, I proposed the following items as recommendations to revise the current evaluation process:

  1. Recommend removal of the override provision that allows an Ineffective rating on either the quantitative or the qualitative portion of the evaluation to result in an overall ineffective rating. Rationale: The override rule is not provided for in state law.  This is a policy described in BESE bulletin 130, Section 309-C. Teachers and principals have complained that such a policy is unnecessary and may result in an inaccurate evaluation.
  2. Recommend that BESE suspend indefinitely the use of VAM for the quantitative component of the teacher evaluation. Rationale: The instability of VAM formula does not support the use of VAM in the evaluation process.  In addition the American Statistical Association has recommended against the use of VAM for teacher evaluation.
  3. Recommend that BESE Bulletin 130 be amended to specify that student learning targets should be set by consultation between the evaluatee and his/her immediate supervisor. Rationale: Present LDOE policy allows SLT's to be set by district level administrators.  Such a practice may not properly consider the student level variables and classroom composition variables.  This recommended change would give proper consideration to site based decision making by each school principal.
  4. All quota systems or mandatory percentages at each level of proficiency should be removed from the teacher and administrator evaluation systems. Rationale: In the past, the LDOE has attempted to set certain quotas for effective and ineffective teachers based primarily on VAM scores.  For example, there was a quota of 10%  “ineffective” and 20% “highly effective”. Such quotas are purely arbitrary and are not based on evidence or studies of the Louisiana teaching force. In addition, it does not allow for improvement over a period of years as educators grow within the evaluation system.   
  5. Recommend that a special committee of experienced teachers and administrators be appointed to recommend changes to the COMPASS rubric that would provide for different criteria for teachers of various specialties.  The elements of the evaluation should take into account the job description for each specialty. In addition the committee should be allowed to modify the rubric or observation form for teachers to allow for different learning and teaching styles that can result in effective instruction, and which do not force the teacher to use only one method of instruction. Rationale: The present COMPASS rubric is not appropriate for some teaching or professional specialties and does not provide sufficient flexibility for various lessons and learning opportunities.
  6. Recommend that Principals should be given the option of only having to complete one Compass Observation if the teacher scores effective proficient or highly effective on the first observation Rationale:This would allow principals to provide more coaching time to those teachers who have not achieved the proficient or highly effective ratings.

The next meeting is scheduled for February  2nd at 1pm-- we will be voting on final recommendations at this meeting.  Please email debra.schum@laprincipals.org  and let us know your thoughts on the proposed recommendations!  Thanks for all that you do and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

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