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State Superintendent of Education John White. (Donna Price / American Press)

State Superintendent of Education John White. (Donna Price / American Press)

BESE to look at changes for evaluating teachers

Last Modified: Monday, January 14, 2013 4:43 PM

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana's top school board is about to consider several changes in the state's new method for evaluating public school teachers. One of the changes includes making it easier for new teachers to land job security.

The Advocate reported the issue is one of several high-profile topics to be discussed when the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meets on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The panel also will consider whether to revamp the role of counselors in high schools, get public input on funding levels of state aid for public schools and do its first, annual job review for state Superintendent of Education John White.

White's recommended changes in teacher evaluations would revamp how those in high-performing schools are graded and would allow greater flexibility in evaluating teachers who are affected by natural disasters or other extenuating circumstances.

Under state laws passed in 2010 and 2012, half of the annual review for some public school teachers is linked to the growth of student achievement and the other half to classroom observations by principals and others.

In addition, new teachers would have to be rated as "highly effective" for five out of six years to earn a form of job security called "tenure."

Under White's proposal, teachers would get more information at the start of the school year about what their student growth targets will be, and principals would be given the ability to make slight adjustments to scores for teachers who rank in the middle-range of performance.

The state has about 55,000 public school teachers.

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