Letter: Former teacher’s letter blames the victim — other teachers

Former teacher Laura Sandoval’s letter is highly critical of the state’s recent decision to postpone for two years linking teacher evaluations and student achievement, saying the need to improve teacher quality is urgent. She says the postponement is the result of political pressure from teachers and their unions.

I’ve had my differences with both the LAE and the LFT; their leaders know me well. But this time it seems to me that Ms. Sandoval is blaming the victim.

BESE and the Jindal administration are right to put off linking teacher quality and student achievement to the Common Core State Standards. Louisiana’s version of CCSS has some major problems. It has no centralized plan. The state actually says that’s a good thing, but teachers don’t know what to teach or when.

Not a single CCSS textbook has been published; in fact, teachers are expected to literally make it up on the fly by searching the Internet for materials that can be run off and distributed to students. Perhaps the most perplexing of all, teachers are being expected to teach lessons that can’t be tested, because the tests don’t exist. No one has written them yet.

Parents of public school students, who want to do the right thing — and there are thousands upon thousands of them — are confused and confounded by the new Common Core methods, which have never been properly explained to them.

And the state has provided no funding to reimburse local school districts for the costs involved in implementing CCSS and trying to make it work.

Louisiana lingers at the bottom of every positive list, and education is clearly the key toward moving higher in nearly all of them. But Ms. Sandoval and many others spot a tree and assume it’s the entire forest, either ignoring or refusing to see the tangled undergrowth beyond.

Russ Wise

member, St. John the Baptist

School Board