Contrary to the opinion expressed in your Oct. 6 editorial, there is considerable evidence that the teacher evaluation program imposed by Gov. Bobby Jindal and the legislature in 2012 is not working in the best interest of teachers and children in Louisiana.
Even though the vast majority of teachers have been rated as effective under the new regime, questions abound as to the accuracy, relevance, and appropriateness of the evaluations. A number of evaluations done under the Value Added Model have been invalidated by the state. While that number might not be great in proportion to the teacher population, it reveals flaws in the method that cannot be ignored.
Remember that evaluations conducted under the Value Added Model affect just a third of the teachers in the state. Most teachers are evaluated under a completely different model, which cannot be correlated to the VAM.
For 30 percent of Louisiana teachers, there is the quantitative pseudo-scientific VAM coupled with the qualitative administrative evaluation, while 70 percent of teachers are subjected to the qualitative administrative evaluation plus a second qualitative assessment known as Student Learning Targets.
Essentially, we have two separate evaluation systems that do not mesh with each other, yet we pretend that all teachers are being evaluated equally, and we continue to base virtually every decision affecting their professional lives on these evaluations.
Your editorial points out that there is a “wide variance” between the principals’ evaluation of teachers and the allegedly objective Value Added score. A relevant and useful evaluation would explain and reconcile this variance; the system in place does not.
The only saving grace for the current system is that most citizens have no idea how flawed it is.
There are too many flaws in the system to list here. Next Wednesday, some of these are expected to be explored at the meeting of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. We hope that education leaders will be paying attention and take action to correct the flaws in the system.
president, Louisiana Federation of Teachers