State Education Superintendent John White is considering altering the teacher evaluation process for a small group of teachers whose students consistently rank among the highest performing in the state.

The issue surfaced recently when teachers at South Highlands Elementary Magnet School in Shreveport, the highest performing elementary school in the state, found that they would be rated “ineffective” based on preliminary standardized test data from their students.

The highly controversial teacher evaluations rate teacher effectiveness based on the standardized test scores of their students, as well as classroom observations:
Some teachers at South Highlands, which is the top-rated elementary school in the state, said they were rated as “ineffective” in trial runs even though their students scored among the highest in the state.

Since then, educators at high-performing schools in Baton Rouge and elsewhere have made similar comments.

The issue is significant because teachers who get back-to-back poor evaluations can lose their jobs.
White tells The Advocate that he has written to some state lawmakers and members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education proposing that the “40 or 50” teachers who are facing ineffective ratings despite teaching at high-performing schools would be evaluated solely on classroom observations.

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