September 11, 2013


In this issue of Ed-Connect, find the recently released Compass Annual. Additionally you will find information about upcoming Compass support tools as well as information about Superintendent White's recently announced Louisiana Believes tour. 


Compass Annual Report report


Last week, the Louisiana Department of Education released the Compass Annual Reportdetailing evaluators' ratings in the first year of using the Compass tool. The report contains a discussion of statewide trends in Compass implementation and summary statistics for evaluators' overall ratings and rating by category at the district and school level.


The data yielded by the report provides powerful insight into the trends and contrasts among us. The results show us that, statewide, evaluators' ratings using the Compass tool tend to align with student progress or achievement. For example, of the ten parishes with the highest percentage of teachers rated in the top two levels, seven were in the state's top 25 percent in student progress or student achievement. 


The report also provides evidence that establishing a high bar for teaching excellence can be a profound step forward in making gains with students, often those who are hardest to serve. Evaluators in Ascension Parish, East Feliciana Parish, the Recovery School District (RSD) in New Orleans, and St. Bernard Parish, districts where student growth was among the highest in the state, set a high bar for observations, giving teachers room to continue improving their practice. 63 schools statewide ranked among the state's best in student progress while setting the highest bar for classroom observations. Another 18 schools did the same for student learning targets.


By studying how these schools and school systems have achieved what they've achieved, we can set a high bar for excellence in the every classroom in our state. 


Click here to view a video of Superintendent White discussing the report and answering questions submitted by teachers. This presentation describes the Compass process and how to interpret the data included in the report as does the infographic on page 3 of the report.


Upcoming Compass Enhancementstools


The Department is enhancing the Compass tool to assist evaluators in providing accurate feedback as well as to support teachers in improving their instructional practices. Below are a few of the improvements being made this fall. 

  • Enhancements to the Compass Information System: The following enhancement will be made available to teachers and evaluators the week of September 30.
    • Observation Screens: A new template for observations will be made available to evaluators, allowing them more flexibility in how they conduct and rate observations, and providing the option to attach notes or documents from the observation for the teachers to review. The new screen will also have a "print" tab, enabling teachers to easily print out their observation feedback.
  • Value Added Trend Data: The Department will share data with districts the week of September 30 indicating the historical trend in each student's achievement and a range of 2014 scores if the trend continues. Districts may then share these scores with teachers in order to assist in understanding students' performance over time. Administrators and teachers should strive to continue to the progress of students making gains and to reverse the trend where students are not showing progress. The ranges should therefore not be used as exact targets themselves; instead, educators should use the data to set reasonable but ambitious targets for every child. These reports will include:
    • An estimated range of student performance if historical trends continue
    • Prior year achievement data
    • Student factors taken into account when generating expected scores
  • Instructional Video Library: The Instructional Video Library is an online tool that brings the Compass rubric and its instructional expectations to life. In October, the Department will release the second phase of this library that will include new instructional videos aligned to Compass and Common Core in addition to feedback conversation exemplars.

Please email with any questions. 


Louisiana Believes Tourtour


Yesterday the Louisiana Department of Education announced the dates and locations for Superintendent White's upcoming Louisiana Believes tour. This tour will focus on discussing several major initiatives happening across the state such as the Early Childhood Network pilots, Course Choice, Advanced Placement expansion, and work to reform Louisiana's diploma system.


This teacher-designed tour also will include several Teacher Leader town hall meetings to discuss the state's transition to more rigorous standards and assessments with the goal of putting Louisiana students on a level playing field with students across the country.

Thank you to all the teachers and principals who provided locations for the tour. Click here for more information about the Louisiana Believes tour as well as the dates and locations.
Louisiana Department of Education
1201 N. Third Street
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802

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