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June 12, 2012

EdConnect Header - LA Believes

 In This Issue   


  • Accountability, Certification, and Evaluation Policy Changes
  • Louisiana Believes Advisory Committees
  • Special Education Impact
  • Value-Added Scores Available
  • Common Core State Standards
    Summer Institutes
  • Compass Training Schedule 

Educator Resources (Links)


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Dear Fellow Educators:


I hope you're having a good start to the summer. Thanks for keeping up with changes in education through EdĚConnect.


Louisiana Believes is about empowering educators and administrators with the necessary flexibility to make choices about what is best for the children across our state. Louisiana's USDOE-approved NCLB waiver embodies that belief, aligning our state's bar for student achievement with the Common Core State Standards while freeing educators from burdensome rules that distract from a focus on the classroom. Next week, the Department will bring to BESE changes to several policy areas detailed in this EdĚConnect.  Among them is a simplified accountability bulletin that aligns our state's expectations with the Common Core by focusing on ACT and AP success.


In no area is the relationship between standards and empowerment more important than in special education. Standards must be high for students with disabilities; at the same time we must be attentive to the needs of our most vulnerable young people. Educators can do this best when not encumbered by rules and mandates; at the same time, we must abide by important processes that protect children's interests. In this issue of EdĚConnect we will share a memo explaining how current Louisiana Believes initiatives relate to issues of special education.

As you know, for the past couple of weeks we have also requested applicants for Louisiana Believes Advisory Committees: teachers, principals, superintendents, parents, and community members. The response to be part of the future of education in Louisiana was overwhelming.   Invitations have been sent out to people to serve on these important committees as we work together to implement some of the boldest reforms in the nation, reforms aimed at ensuring our students receive the quality education they deserve.


Thank you for all you do for our children.




John White

Louisiana Department of Education

Twitter @LouisianaSupe



Louisiana Believes, Louisiana's vision for PK-12 education, is an idea that if you believe all children can achieve at high levels, you must believe in the adults closest to them. In support of this vision, the Louisiana Department of Education will propose major education policy revisions to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) next week.


The new, more streamlined, regulations will cover a number of critical topics, including accountability policy revisions to align with the federal ESEA (NCLB) Waiver, approved in late May, as well as remaining updates to teacher certification and evaluation policies resulting from Act 54 of the 2010 Legislative Session.


This memorandum outlines the policies proposed, as well as implications for educators, schools and districts.

Louisiana Believes Advisory Committees


As you are aware, over the last two months we have been asking educators across the state to work with us on the formulation of Louisiana Believes, a comprehensive plan that aims to ensure all students, at every grade level, are on track to attain a college degree or succeed in a professional career.


We have met with hundreds of teachers and school leaders across the state, many of whom are eager to take an active role in the future of education in our state.  We are thankful to all of you who have expressed an interest in serving on the Louisiana Believes Advisory Committees.  Invitations have been sent to teachers, principals, and school administrators to serve on the committees, which will meet quarterly starting this year.  A complete list of committee members will be available in our next issue.


Likewise, over these last two months we have received valuable feedback, and next week the finalized Louisiana Believesplan will be introduced.  We urge you to remain engaged in the implementation of this plan.


Special Education Impact


It's critical that changes implemented through Louisiana Believes hold both high expectations for students with disabilities and protect those students' interests and needs.   We have prepared the attached Memorandum listing how several critical elements of the Louisiana Believes plan impact special education students, educators, and policies on the issue. We think you will find expanded opportunities and higher expectations for special education students embedded in each element. But with that comes complexities as well. We hope this memo is the start of an important dialogue about change and how it relates to special education. As always, we welcome your comments.



All teachers in the State of Louisiana should set ambitious, yet attainable, goals for students next year. Setting a goal for what students will be able to accomplish in a given year provides focus and coherence to a teacher's instruction and ensures that students are focused on accomplishing something that represents meaningful learning for one school year. At the end of the year, teachers should reflect on the extent to which they've achieved the goal using all the data available to them. One such set of data is the value-added data available for teachers in grades 3-8 and those that teach ninth grade Algebra and Geometry.  The data should serve as a check on the extent to which a teacher achieved his or her goal with his or her students. 


The 2011-2012 Value Added score reports are now available. You may view the scores at the following link: https://leads13.doe.louisiana.gov/cvr under the tab 'Teacher Results Report.' Please note that teachers who instruct either Algebra I or Geometry EOC courses will receive results tentatively on July 15, 2012.


New users to the CVR portal who wish to view the teacher level scores will have to register in order to access their CVR account. For more Information on the registration process, please click here. If principals would like a designee to view their school's value-added reports, the designee will need to be provided the principal's login code and password to access the portal.


Please contact the LDOE CVR helpdesk at LDOECVR@la.gov if you need assistance in accessing the CVR portal or have questions about the reports. To review the value-added webinar for an overview of the score reports, please click here.



The Louisiana Department of Education is offering one-day summer institutes for teams of three from each school in the state.  The institutes are being offered at various sites across the state July 9-12 and July 16-18.  The institutes will provide information on LDOE instructional priorities and the supports that the LDOE will provide.  The institutes will include training on the instructional shifts and critical focus areas in the CCSS for ELA and mathematics.  School teams will provide support in developing plans to redeliver the content as well as support for incorporating these shifts in instructional practice.  Most school teams have registered, but those who have not, we encourage you to register your school teams as soon as possible.  The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) District Specialists are coordinating the registration in each district.  The CCSS Specialists should contact Carolyn Sessions at Carolyn.Sessions@la.gov for more information.  To view the complete training schedule, please click here.



Dates for the Compass Evaluator Training sessions have been released. The trainings will be offered between July 23, 2012 and August 2, 2012, and session availability is based upon parish/region.  A complete schedule is posted on the website, and can be accessed using the following link: http://www.louisianaschools.net/compass/training_calendar.html.


Registration is required and will be available via Coursewhere.