Bill to delay teacher evalution system passes through education committee

Photo taken by NBC33 staff
Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 2:02pm

It's a law that would repeal a law already in motion, teacher evaluations through the newly implemented Compass program.

"All we're asking for in this bill is for this year to be a data year. Where no rewards, no penalties, no labels, no data, no anything is based on the data that's gathered this year," explained Representative Gene Reynolds, the bill’s author.

The evaluation system as it stands now could cost teachers their jobs if they are rated ‘ineffective’ without improving, it’s also a system that has many emotionally charged.

"I wasn't looking at immediate retirement or anything like that but in august I felt like the world was crushing down on us. And I was in tears for truth. I was starting to panic. This would give us a little breathing room. We feel very pressured, very chaotic," said Dawn Gary, a Lafayette area teacher.

"These ineffective teachers are doing more harm than my ineffective evaluation is doing. I can take a two, I can take a three. I can not take my students not learning," said Ramo Shutz, a Point Coupee teacher.

Those hoping to put off the evaluations start date with the law said the compass evaluation has too many flaws this year to be an effective measure of a teacher’s success.

"It’s been changed so many times that no one knows what the actual document is supposed to look like," added Representative Patricia Haynes-Smith.

Those who argued for the Compass set-up, said it's vital for students.

"I believe we've failed our students long enough. I believe we need to put these measures in place to show our students and our teachers that we're serious about our kids learning," said a representative from the organization Stand for Children.

The House Education committee is making the decision to move the bill forward.

"I think this year was a good learning year. When the data comes out in July, we'll be able to see where the holes are and next year we'll really be able to go after it," said Reynolds after the bill was reported favorably out of committee.

Superintendent John White was at the meeting but did not testify and did not wish to comment to us. The bill passed out of committee without oppostion.


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