Join Fellow LaTEACH Members!
Put on your Purple 
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE)
needs to hear your voice!
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 
Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Meet us at BESE on June 18th and 19th!

ALL LaTEACH members are encouraged to attend the Louisiana BESE meetings on June 18th and 19th.


Board of Elementary and Secondary Education 



Tuesday, June 18, 2013 

8:30 Policy Information Session

9:00 Committee Meetings begin


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

12:30  BESE Meeting 



Claiborne Building

Room 1-100, The Louisiana Purchase Room

1201 North 3rd St.

Baton Rouge, La

More information on issues of interest to parents of students with disabilities:

9:30 a.m.        Educator Effectiveness Committee

Teacher Evaluations Presentation on COMPASS (Item 4.1)

Under the new teacher evaluation system, called COMPASS, half of a teacher's job performance will be based on student value-added scores.  Value-added scores use student characteristics and previous performance to determine a target score the student would be expected to earn.  Depending on whether the student fails to make that target, makes the target or significantly exceeds the target determines whether their teacher is deemed effective or not.


Many parents of students with disabilities have expressed concerns that scores on standardized tests do not accurately measure their child's progress in other critical areas; and, policies that only use performance on standardized tests to gauge the impact of an educator creates dis-incentives for these educators to focus on critical individualized goals and objectives in the student's Individualized Education Plan (IEP).


The Value-Added Model (VAM) groups students with 'similar' characteristics to determine student target scores.  However, some disability categories do not have enough students for the statistics to work well.  Therefore the VAM groups students with many types of disabilities into one large category labeled: "other special education disability.  So students with autism, deaf-blindness, deafness, developmental delay, hearing impairment, moderate to profound intellectual disability, multiple disability, orthopedic impairment, traumatic brain injury, and visual impairment are all considered the same for purposes of establishing target scores.  The creators of the Value-Added Model indicate that grouping students across these vast ranges of disabilities is not ideal.  Teachers are already anxious and many have expressed concerns that the VAM is not reliable.  The use of these inappropriate student groupings may add to teacher perceptions of the fairness and accurateness in using the VAM to evaluate their job performance rating.  Unfortunately, concerns of this nature would be expected to increase the resistance some teachers have to include and teach students with disabilities.

1:30 p.m. Academic Goals and Instructional Improvement Committee


Report on student location and accountability (Item 3.2)

Accountability System Penalizes Inclusion

Council staff recently shared information with BESE and the Legislature indicating the school accountability structure is heavily influenced by the rate of students with disabilities in schools.  The higher the percentages of students with disabilities in a school the worse the school tends to score. Other reports have indicated the impact on poverty on school scores.


School performance scores have high stakes - financial incentives for high scores and takeover for low scores.  Measures of a school's success should not depend on whether they have fewer students who do not score well on standardized assessments, specifically students with disabilities.  Unless something changes it should be expected that school administrators will be making decisions to alter which students are in which schools 


Considering this issue was only brought to the attention of the Department and BESE recently, their quick response to further analyze and discuss strategies to address the problem is a positive first step.


Special Education Advisory Panel (SEAP) (Item 5.1)

SEAP recommendations:

  • more time and information before making policy changes to alternate assessment (LAA2); 
  • updates on diploma options; and, 
  • more funding for Assistive Technology in the IDEA (federal) state level budget.

Data collection and Security (Item 3.1)

A presentation on how student data are stored and secured with a great snapshot of the educational databases.

3:00 p.m.  Administration and Finance Committee


MFP Task Force (Item 10.1)

Changes to main education funding formula (Minimum Foundation Program or MFP) will be recommended by a task force for 2014-2015.  Last year, the Legislature requested BESE to study and address inequities in funding across types of school systems for students with disabilities.  One of the reasons Senator Claitor gave for not approving the proposed 2013-2014 MFP was a failure to address these inequities.  However, the Department recommendations for MFP task force membership does not include stakeholders representing the interests of students with disabilities.

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