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Senate Lawmakers Vote in Favor of Effective Teachers

From Left: Senators Appel, Claitor, Donahue, Guillory
The “Education Fab Four” from left: Senators Conrad Appel, Dan Claitor, Jack Donahue, Elbert Guillory

Earlier today, the Senate Education Committee considered House Bill 160, proposed by Rep. Gene Reynolds (D – Dist. 10), which would have delayed the full implementation of Compass, the state’s teacher evaluation system, until the 2014-15 school year. Although Rep. Reynolds stressed to the committee that he was seeking a delay only so that kinks in the system could be ironed out, many of those who came to testify in favor of the bill made it clear that they believed Compass was irreparably flawed. Indeed, Superintendent of Education John White warned the committee that some believed H.B. 160 was simply the first step in an effort to jettison the teacher evaluation system entirely.

After lengthy testimony from both supporters and opponents, the Senate Education Committee voted 4-3 on a motion to defer (i.e., kill) the bill, with Senators Appel, Claitor, Donahue, and Guillory in the majority. By rejecting H.B. 160, these Senators reaffirmed that we have an obligation to ensure that every child has an effective teacher and that we need to recognize, reward, and support those educators who have a lasting positive impact on students. [For more background on H.B. 160: Four Reasons Why Lawmakers Should Stay the Course with Compass]

Many thanks to Senators Appel, Claitor, Donahue, and Guillory for staying the course with Compass and refusing to turn back on the significant progress Louisiana has made in public education over the past decade.

Written by Peter Cook

Pete became involved in education reform as a 2002 Teach For America corps member in New Orleans Public Schools and has worked in various capacities at Teach For America, KIPP, TNTP, and the Recovery School District. As a consultant, he developed teacher evaluation systems and served as a strategic advisor to school district leaders in Cleveland, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. He now writes about education policy and politics and lives in New Orleans.

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