I disagree with the premise of a recent article that linked teacher retirement to Louisiana’s Compass evaluation system. While it may be true that some teachers don’t like the system, it’s not true that teachers don’t want accountability.
Teachers are proud of the work they do and believe in the aim of their profession, to help every child become successful both inside and beyond the classroom.
Accountability ensures that this happens, that great work is rewarded and that professional growth occurs. Like any professional, teachers want that support and recognition.
What is also true is that the No. 1 source of job dissatisfaction is nonsupportive environments, where principals and teachers don’t work together and where teachers don’t receive feedback.
This was the problem Compass was designed to fix.
Is the system perfect? No. Some teachers are still learning how to use this feedback. Some principals are still learning how to be supportive and learning how to use the system as a tool for professional growth in their schools.
In any occupation, a transition like this takes time and commitment from all involved.
However, to blame retirements on Compass has two flaws: First, teachers want feedback. To insinuate anything else minimizes the dedication and professionalism of educators. Second, like any other employee, teachers stay in their jobs when they are supported.
Compass was designed for these purposes, and in the long run, this tool will treat teachers as the professionals they are.
Polly Broussard, executive director
Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana
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