Join Fellow LaTEACH Members!
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BESE needs to hear your voice!
August 6, 2014

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) meets next week.   Of particular interest to LaTEACH members, BESE will consider:
  • Policies related to Alternative Pathways for Students with Disabilities to be Promoted and earn High School Diplomas (Act 833)
The main discussion and vote on policies related to alternative pathways for students to be promoted and graduate will occur during the Academic Goals and Instructional Improvement Committee (Agenda item 6.7) at 1:30 p.m. on August 12th.

WHEN:          August 12 & 13, 2014


WHERE:       Claiborne Building

The Louisiana Purchase Room (1-100)

1201 N. Third Street

 Baton Rouge, LA  70802


Below are important issues regarding the Department of Education's proposed policy language. 


LaTEACH members are encouraged to attend BESE meetings to remind BESE members who we are and that decisions should be made that consider the best interest of ALL kids.


If you don't have a purple LaTEACH shirt, contact your LaTEACH Regional Leader or and we will provide one for you at the BESE meeting.

Important Information

Act 833 of 2014 established alternative pathways for certain students with disabilities to be able to be promoted to the next grade level and graduate from high school.


Policy revisions for Act 833 implementation recommended by the Louisiana Department of Education (LDE) are much more restrictive than Act 833 regarding: 

  • students eligible for consideration of an alternative pathway;
  • the courses that IEP teams can establish alternative performance requirements for students to meet relevant to earning a high school diploma;
  • the grade levels allowed for promotion consideration; and,
  • alternative methods to demonstrate proficiency (i.e., how a student is tested) vs. minimum performance requirements to be used as criteria for promotion and graduation determinations. 


Eligibility restriction

The LDE is recommending to not allow students on LAA-1 to be eligible for the alternative pathway for promotion and graduation determinations.  

Since IEP teams determine whether students are on LAA-1  many parents and special educators have indicated they expect many students to be re-classifed so they can be eligible for an alternative pathway to graduate.


Course Restriction  

The LDE is recommending that IEP teams can only establish minimum performance requirements to those high school courses with required state assessments (i.e., End-of-Course tests).  Act 833 indicates IEP team determinations of minimum performance requirements apply to any course relevant to promotion and graduation requirements.  Since there are many courses required for graduation that do not have EOC tests the intent of the law is that all of these courses would be considered.


Promotion Determinations Restricted to Fourth and Eighth Grades

While most issues related to promotion have been caused by state established retention policies at fourth and eighth grades, Act 833 does not restrict IEP teams from making performance requirements for promotion purposes for students in school systems with local pupil progression policies that do not take into account the student's individualized situation and needs.

Performance Requirements vs. Demonstrating Proficiency 
Act 833 clearly indicates that an IEP of a student on an alternative pathway for promotion and graduation shall include minimum performance requirements the student must achieve to be promoted or earn credits toward graduation.  However, language recommended by LDE shifts, and limits, the alternative pathways to only include alternative methods for the student to demonstrate proficiency.  The difference is whether students will be required to meet the same proficiency benchmark established by the state, or, as Act 833 indicates, whether performance requirements established in the IEP will be necessary for promotion and graduation determinations.  The concern is whether some alternative methods of demonstrating proficiency, that is, certain assessment protocols, established by IEP teams will be deemed invalid, resulting in students being denied course credit and eventually diplomas even though the students achieved the level of performance indicated by his or her IEP.

Policy Revision Recommendations by LDE:

Bulletin 1530, Louisiana's IEP Handbook for Students with Exceptionalities

Bulletin 1566 - Pupil Progression Policies and Procedures


Contact your BESE member to tell them how you feel about these issues. 

BESE Agendas
 Click here for the link to the agenda for each June 2014 BESE Committee and Board meeting.


Tuesday, August 12th

 9:30 a.m.    Administration and Finance Committee 

11:00 a.m.   School Innovation and Turnaround Committee

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

  3:30 p.m.   Educator Effectiveness Committee  


Wednesday, August 13th

  9:00 a.m.  BESE (Full Board)

BESE Members
Click HERE for the list of BESE Members by district or use the list below.

Mr. Chas Roemer  President


Dr. Lottie Beebe


Ms. Holly Boffy



Ms. Connie E. Bradford


Mr. James D. Garvey, Jr.  Vice President


Mr. Jay Guillot


Ms. Carolyn Hill


Ms. Kira Orange Jones


Mr. Walter Lee


Dr. Judith Miranti


Ms. Jane Smith


Not sure which BESE member represents you?  
Use the Louisiana map with BESE Districts linked here to find out.
Did You Take Action?
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Please let us know if you contacted your BESE Member or attended a BESE meeting by emailing us at
Any questions?
If there are any questions about the information in this alert, contact LaTEACH at:
contact pic
Phone: 1-800-450-8108
Phone: 1-800-894-6558

LaTEACH is an initiative of the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council.