Sign the petition for fair teacher evaluations

Dear Members of the Education Committee, We believe that professional educators deserve an evaluation plan that is fair and yields valid results with total transparency. Since 2011, the great state of Louisiana has utilized the “Value-Added Model,” also known as VAM. This model is unreliable and invalid. It has resulted in hundreds of quality educators being terminated, or choosing to leave the profession, because they were unjustly labeled as “ineffective.” We urge you to consider the bills before you that redesign the teacher evaluation plan using multiple forms of measurement with no more than 25% of an evaluation determined by Read More …

Opt-Out 2016: Parents, Know Your Rights

It is Springtime in Louisiana, and for teachers, students and parents, that is an indicator that statewide assessment are just around the corner. As many of you know, last year’s assessments were marred by a growing number of parents protesting against the chosen assessment known as PARCC. This movement wasn’t, and still isn’t, limited to Louisiana. The resistance to statewide assessment has grown exponentially across the country, largely driven by opposition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the two primary assessment instruments developed by Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). Experts Read More …

Educate to Advocate

On Sunday, February 14th, the Louisiana Legislature commenced the first extraordinary legislative session. It will be over in three weeks. Then, less than a week later, the regular session will begin. With a new governor at the helm, and all of the political posturing taking place, this year’s session is sure to be interesting. I thought it would be a good time to talk about advocating. I’m going to talk briefly about advocating, in general, and explain the legislative process, then explain a little further from the position of a teacher and the position of a parent/community member. In a Read More …

JBE: Broken promises; or not?

Like most of the folks in Louisiana who have fought against Common Core and various forms of education reforms, I have watched and followed newly elected Governor, John Bel Edwards, very closely. Why? Because for 8 years in the legislature he fought against the same reforms that we were fighting, and throughout his campaign, he repeatedly stated the changes he would make, if elected. Here we sit, three weeks into his role as governor, and we’ve not seen any definitive statements, or heard even an inkling of reassurance that he is going to keep his commitment. Now, there has been Read More …

Act 1: Repair and Recovery

In the previous blog, Act 1: Damage Done, I attempted to illustrate how and why the teacher evaluation plan outlined in Act 1 is invalid and damaging to the teaching profession. The main reasons being: The design of the VAM is not being adhered to. The cost of adminstering VAM as it is designed would be prohibitive. The understanding and implementation of the design across the state is so varied that the results are completely contradictory to its purpose. The premise behind the design of VAM is truly admirable, but the idea that a teacher’s effectiveness can be measured to Read More …

Act 1: Damage Done

While the content of this blog appears to be directed at teachers, it is just as important to parents of children in public school. The intent is to illustrate an incorrect and invalid method of labeling teachers as “ineffective,” which, in turn, incorrectly and invalidly assesses your child. The History In the 2012 regular session, Louisiana legislators passed House Bill 974 which, when enacted, became Act 1. Many people refer to the passing of this bill as the beginning of the destruction of the teaching profession. The bill was a direct response to meeting the requirements to qualify for President Obama’s Read More …

Welcome to Educate Louisiana!

I’d like to introduce you to my new blog for education stakeholders. I will be providing information for students, teachers, administrators, district personnel and the business community about future legislation, changes in education and advocacy. I may also publish opinion pieces about an issue, and will indicate that it is such in the tagging. I also look forward to publishing guest blogs, as well. Please share this blog with all of your friends and family. You can follow it on Facebook, Twitter, or by email using the subscription form and social media buttons in the right hand column. I will Read More …