Louisiana’s 1,300 public schools will still be receiving letter grades this fall instead of stars and labels, despite a bill from state Sen. Jonathan Perry that would have delayed the new grading system. The Advocate reports that Perry, R-Abbeville, backed by the state’s teacher unions and the Louisiana School Boards Association, wanted to halt for two years the new system of assigning letter grades to schools, but the Senate Education Committee on Thursday voted 5-4 against his bill.
The new system was created as a way to simplify the way the state measures school performance, with supporters of letter grades saying that stars and labels “mean little to students and parents:”
Perry says the new grading system could have negative effects on teachers and others in the education field, but opposition from a BESE board member and Gov. Bobby Jindal’s education adviser prevailed:
“This is an attack on accountability,” said Stafford Palmieri, education policy adviser for Gov. Bobby Jindal and an opponent of the bill. “Accountability is the num-ber one tool we have to im-prove education in Louisiana,” Palmieri added.
Chas Roemer, a member of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, or BESE, also denounced the proposal. “This is about giving honest information to parents,” Roe-mer said of the grading system, which he helped develop.
Under the system approved by BESE in December, grades will assigned to public schools based on annual school performance scores, which primarily reflect how students fared on key tests. Schools can get a plus on their letter grades if they meet state growth targets and a mi-nus if their annual score drops.
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AUG 22 Blogger Robert Mann is writing about the so-called Edmonson Amendment in this post, and he's not a fan. If Bobby Jindal really does support a "gold standard" of ethics he would have done something - or even said something - and yet he has not, Mann says.
AUG 22 Crazy Crawfish is blogging about the (interesting) incident of the state Education Department's website being out of commission earlier this week. It was reported (with heavy implications) in two local media outlets, and Crawfish feels the stories would have been better had the reporters done a little investigation instead of just printing what they were told.
AUG 22 Blogger Tom Aswell has some advice for state troopers who plan on making any public comments or challenges to the Jindal administration: don't do it. He's telling the story of one trooper who dared to challenge Commander Mike Edmonson's buddy and paid the price for it.
AUG 22 Columnist Clancy DuBos is writing about the upcoming elections in this post on Gambit. The field for local and federal offices has its share of old guys, he tells us, although mostly he's talking about Edwin Edwards.
AUG 22 Columnist Jim Beam is talking about the Office of Group Benefits in this post; that's the office that handles the money collected from state employees to pay their benefits. The OGB reserve fund has been reduced by half in the last year, and the Jindal administration keeps saying that's a good thing - but that's like telling a kid that castor oil is good, Beam says.
AUG 22 Columnist James Gill is writing about dueling efforts over the killing of animals; on one side is a lady trying to avoid the euthanizing of stray cats and on the other is a camp of folk who feel that there are enough black bears in Louisiana for us to start killing them for fun.
AUG 22 One could assume that nobody (teachers included) likes it when politicians tell them how to do their job. So what do teachers think about Common Core? Blogger Michael Deshotels is examining some responses from teachers who were asked. (Spoiler alert: none of these comments will be used in a Common Core marketing campaign.)
AUG 22 This post on The Hill is commenting upon the latest round of "that candidate is the worst person in the world" ads that are running in Louisiana's Senate race. This round takes aim at Bill Cassidy, the physician/Congressman who is challenging Mary Landrieu, and lists all the votes he has cast that hurt veterans.
AUG 21 Tom Aswell is telling us about another "efficiency" contract the state has signed. This one is paying a consultant (i.e. someone with a briefcase from out of town) $140 an hour, plus tens of thousands in air fare. The agency on the receiving end of this tender care? The DMV. Well -- that's working great, then.
AUG 21 Columnist Stephanie Riegel is writing about the scandal that has rocked the LSU Alumni Association (to wit, the executive director's "girlfriend" also was his employee; when they "broke up" he started paying her, with alumni money, to keep her mouth shut). In particular, she's looking for some lessons to learn from the mishigas.
AUG 21 This post on The Lens brings us up to date on the ongoing process of populating the levee board that will decide if the so-called Big Oil lawsuit will move forward. Gov. Jindal has done his best to put the kibosh on the suit by removing pro-suit members, but the process of replacing them is not simple, Bob Marshall tells us.
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