Teaching Profession

New Louisiana Teacher-Evaluation Results Show Greater Distribution

By Stephen Sawchuk — September 03, 2013 1 min read
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Early results from Louisiana’s most recent teacher evaluations show more variation in teachers’ scores than appeared in prior systems, though a majority of teachers—89 percent—were deemed proficient or “highly effective” in 2012-13, according to a report issued today.

The analysis from the Louisiana Education Department found that 4 percent of teachers were rated ineffective, an increase from less than 1 percent in 2010-11 under the prior evaluation system.

Like many other states, Louisiana has revamped its teacher-evaluation system to use both observations of teachers and student achievement data. For about 30 percent of teachers, this includes “value added” information based on growth in standardized-test scores.

The results are roughly in line with early results from other revamped teacher-evaluation systems, most of which continue to show a relatively small percentage of ineffective teachers.

Louisiana officials say that student academic improvement generally lined up with teacher ratings. Of the 10 parishes with the highest percentage of teachers at the top levels, seven were in the top quartile of student progress or achievement.

However, in one of the report’s most interesting tidbits, districts varied a lot in how they applied the observation framework. Some of the districts with the most improvement in student scores actually were more conservative about giving teachers the highest scores. In the East Feliciana Parish, which had high rates of student achievement growth, just 64 percent of teachers were assigned observation scores “proficient” or “highly effective,” compared to 90 percent statewide. This pattern, the report says, emerged in particular in districts that made progress with low-income schools, “implying a link between the rigor of classroom observations and student progress in challenging situations.”

The report concludes that the rigor of the system varies throughout the state, and that more tools and supports will be needed to norm expectations at the various levels of performance across the state.

You can read the entire report below. The percentages are given on p. 4, teachers in blue and administrators in green.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.