Letter: Educator supports Compass program

As an educator, I want to publicly thank the state and Legislature for providing teachers with an evaluation tool (Compass) that supports our work in an objective way.

This tool gives teachers insight into their practice and helps us know exactly how we’re doing in our efforts to improve student achievement.

For the first time, teachers have a tool that makes sure those of us who are excelling are recognized and rewarded.

With the recent ruling by a judge that Act I contained too many provisions, there has never been a more important time for us to stand together, put the needs of children in Louisiana first and take action to make sure the teacher evaluation system remains strong so great teachers can be identified and so that principals have decision-making authority on hiring and firing so they can easily reward great teachers.

It is a moral imperative to ensure that each classroom is equipped with an effective teacher. It is what our children deserve.

We must continue the public conversations about the teacher evaluation system so we can make changes that make the system stronger and have the ability to identify the tools and support needed by teachers in order to implement it successfully.

As I talk with other teachers in my school, they tell me they are not opposed to Compass.

In fact, they appreciate that they now have a professional development tool to help them improve and are pleased that legislation was passed that required adoption of new local salary schedules that reward effective performance and student growth and allows principals to reward effective teachers for their great work.

Now is the time for us to provide greater clarity throughout the state about Compass and make sure that teachers know that this is not a tool meant to penalize them or control their teaching.

This is a tool designed to support teachers in their practice and allow them the flexibility and the opportunity to teach the children in their classrooms in a way that will radically advance their academic outcomes.

We know the No. 1 thing we can give children to help them learn is a highly effective teacher. And the best thing we can give teachers is accurate, timely information and the support they need to implement this system effectively. If we work together, we can create a world class education system that provides all students with an effective teacher every year.

Maya Bennett

reading interventionist

Baton Rouge