State Superintendent of Education
LDOE Weekly Newsletter 09/25/2012
The word "accountability" implies that if we are not successful in our work with students, we have to improve. But Louisiana Believes contains another, equally important, side of the accountability coin: rewarding success. Just as we should shine a light on students achieving the highest levels, so too should we reward teachers who make great strides in the classroom or principals who lead great schools. Our schools shine when we honor the work of those who do the job well.
The same is true of school organizations. Too rarely do we find ways to honor whole teams of administrators and teachers who come together with families and students to learn at the highest levels and to make progress year over year.
Louisiana is changing this. In mid-October the state will be making its annual school letter grade announcement, and for the first time the state will present a list of "Top Gains" Schools. Repurposing funds previously spent on historically well-funded schools, irrespective of performance or need, BESE and the Department have committed to financially reward Top Gains School with significant additional funding to be spent on educational activities for students - over $3.7 million to be shared among the recipient schools.
This year the Top Gains distinction will be based on the Growth Target model associated with the 200-point-scale accountability system of old. In fall of 2013, the state will move to a 150-point scale so as to simplify letter grade scoring (less than 50 = F; 100 or greater = A). The state will also shift to simple "Growth Goals" for all schools. A school that earned an "A" the previous year will have a Growth Goal of 5 SPS points; a school that earned a "B"-"F" grade will have a Growth Goal of 10 SPS points. Schools hitting their Growth Goals will then be eligible for financial rewards as "Top Gains" Schools. Click here for more information http://www.louisianaschools.net/performance/school_state_district_acct.html.
We honor students and educators through ceremony, awards, and distinctions. Our Top Gains Schools deserve the same. We should encourage them to go further, setting the tone for the rest of our state and for thousands of Louisiana's children.
As always, thanks for all you do for our children,
Louisiana Department of Education
Assessments and Accountability
Driving Advances in K-12 Assessment
We hope you will join Governor Wise of the Alliance for Excellent Education and leaders of the Comprehensive Assessment Consortia - Laura Slover of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Susan Gendron of the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced), for our fourth Webinar on Assessment Item and Task Prototypes in ELA and Mathematics. The Alliance for Excellent Education is sponsoring this Webinar Series to provide the public with periodic and timely updates on the progress of these two very important initiatives. The K-12 Center is pleased to support the Alliance in this activity.
The leaders of each Consortium and state colleagues will describe their recent progress, including:
- PARCC: The recently released Draft College-Ready Determination Policy and Policy-Level Performance Level Descriptors
- Smarter Balanced: Formation of the State Networks of Educators
- Both PARCC & Smarter Balanced: A look at Assessment Item and Task Prototypes in ELA and Mathematics
Questions can be submitted either in advance or during the Webinar.
Date: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Time: 1:30-3 p.m. Eastern Time
To register and submit questions in advance, please look for the posting on the Alliance's webpage: Register>
If you cannot join us, we will provide a link to the recorded video and slides shortly after the event.
We look forward to having you join us and to hearing your feedback on this important topic. The K-12 Center strives to serve as a catalyst and resource for the improvement of measurement and data systems to enhance student achievement.
Pacific Metrics Assessment Data Certification System
Please forward to Accountability Contacts.
The Pacific Metrics assessment data certification system will close on September 28, 2012. Districts should submit any requests for changes with documentation to the accountability division for review. As a reminder, there will be no additional opportunities to request changes after the submission date and districts cannot file an appeal after the fall release of school performance scores and letter grades with data that could have been corrected during the data certification periods. Thus, ensuring accurate and timely submissions is critical.
The accountability staff provided additional information to each district last week in an effort to reduce the burden for districts. Staff will continue to work with districts throughout the week with any questions that they have for completing this important process. Please contact Jennifer Baird at Jennifer.Baird@la.gov or 225.342.3514 for additional information or assistance.
We are proud to report that all districts have received HCIS Super User training. Thank you! Your HCIS administrators are now working on: 1) training your principals and teachers, 2) performing employee maintenance (adding newly hired employees, transferring employees, assigning evaluators, etc.), and 3) having teachers and principals create their student learning targets, professional growth plans, and observations.
Please read carefully http://www.louisianaschools.net/compass/hcis.html for guidance on the three action items noted above and be sure to contact your network data specialist for any additional needs.
AP® Course Audit Calendar for 2012-13
Please forward to High School Principals and High School Counselors.
Every school that offers face-to-face or online Advanced Placement® (AP®) courses needs to have an AP® Course Audit account in order to apply the AP® label on report cards, high school transcripts, in a high school course catalog or printed course/school information, or on a high school web site.
Steps to complete if your school currently offers or plans on offering AP® courses:
- The school administrator or designee must create an AP® Course Audit account. They are responsible for finalizing AP® Course Audit forms, renewing authorizations from year-to-year, and assuring that the annual AP® Course Ledger entry accurately reflects AP® Course Offerings at the school each academic year. For more information go to the AP® Course Audit account at http://www.collegeboard.com/html/apcourseaudit/administrator.html
- To apply the label, AP®, a teacher must create an AP® Course Audit account, then submit his/her AP® syllabus for authorization. He/She must also submit an electronic Course Audit Form. If you do not have an AP® Course Audit Account go to http://www.collegeboard.com/html/apcourseaudit/teacher.html for information on how to create an account plus find out what materials must be submitted.
Do you have questions about the AP® Course Audit process? Contact the AP® Course Audit Helpline at 877-274-3570 orErnise.Singleton@la.gov or 225.219.045.
Organizing Your AP® Exam Administration: A Workshop for AP® Coordinators
Please forward to High School Principals and High School Counselors.
This FREE one-day workshop, endorsed by The College Board, provides new and experienced AP® Coordinators a comprehensive understanding of topics, including ordering AP® Exams, conducting a pre-administration session, training proctors, setting up off-site testing, administering exams to students with disabilities, navigating the AP® Course Audit, administering exams that require audio or video equipment, managing exam security, handling irregularities and disruptions, arranging for late testing, returning AP® Exams and calculating the school's invoice online. Participants will also learn how to fill in the student Answer Key properly if the student qualifies for the fee reduction or AP® Test Fee Reimbursement for low-income students.
Date: October 12, 2012
Location: Ben Franklin High School - New Orleans
Registration Deadline: September 28, 2012.
To register go to AP® Coordinator Workshop
Act 1 - RIF
As a reminder, we ask that districts submit RIF policies to email@example.com by October 1, 2012. The week of October 15, we will publish the districts that meet or exceed minimum requirements. The LDE will use this rubric to assess the districts' new RIF policies' compliance with Act 1.
For an example of a contract that meets "exemplar" criteria, please see Jefferson Parish's revised policy or Lincoln Parish's draft policy, soon scheduled to go before their Board.
Many districts have asked questions about Act 1's application to bus drivers. Bus drivers should be treated as "school employees" who are not evaluated through Compass; as such, they should be dismissed based on performance and effectiveness as determined by school board policy.
If you have any questions, please contact Gary Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARRA Reporting Requirements
Please forward to Title I Directors, Title II Part D Directors, Parish/City Schools Business Managers, Selected Organization Sponsors
eGMS is now available for creation of the 3/31/2012 PER's (Periodic Expense Reports) for the following ARRA programs.
- Title I
- Title II - EETT-TIG
- Title II - Connect Tech
- Title II - HIGH Tech
- Title I School Improvement 1003g ARRA
- High Performance Schools 1003g ARRA
- Education Jobs
The ARRA PER's should be marked "Final" only if all funds have been utilized and this is the last quarter you will be completing the quarterly reporting for the respective program.
Multiple grant award notifications were issued for the EduJobs funds. However, for reporting purposes only, the information provided on the PER's should be combined to include total expenditures/obligations for the grant.
The PERs should be submitted via the eGMS system by Friday, October 5, 2012.
Cecil J. Picard LA4 Early Childhood Program
Please forward to Project Coordinators for the Cecil J. Picard LA4 Program, Parish/City Schools Business Managers, Selected Organization Sponsors
The purpose of the Cecil J. Picard LA 4 Early Childhood Program is to provide high quality early childhood educational experiences to four-year-old children who are considered to be "at risk" of achieving later academic success. The LA 4 program provides six hours per day of educational experiences and four hours of before and after school enrichment activities. The program will be offered at no cost to those children whose families qualify for free or reduced lunch.
Please revise the FY 2012/13 budget to reflect the funding distribution as attached. Please submit the revised budget to DOEStateBudgetsRevisions@la.gov no later than Friday, October 5, 2012.
For fiscal related questions, please contact Vondrica Alexander at email@example.com or 225-342-1871.
Revised grant award notifications can be viewed via the GAP system.
FY2012-13 General Fund Budget
Please forward to Business Managers and Financial Officials of City/Parish Public School Districts.
Louisiana R.S. 17:88 requires that district school boards adopt, no later than September 15, a budget of expected revenues and probable expenditures for the year and that copies of the budget be submitted to the State Superintendent of Public Education for review and approval.
The FY2012-13 General Fund Budget documents are due September 30, 2012. Budget forms are available on the Department website at the following link: http://www.louisianaschools.net/divisions/edfn/general_fund_budgets.html
If you have any questions or need further information, you may contact Zalinsky Matthew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FY2012-13 MFP Budget Letter (September 2012)
Please forward to Superintendents, Business Managers and Financial Officials of City/Parish Public School Districts.
The September Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) Budget Letter contains payment information for each city or parish school district inclusive of the first quarter payments for the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program (SSEEP). First quarter SSEEP payments are based on the September 5, 2012, count date.
Table 5F of the MFP Budget Letter provides the number of students by grade, by non-public school, who reside in your district and were awarded scholarships, actual tuition and fees charged for each student awarded a scholarship, the total allocation associated with the awards, and estimated savings. An amount of savings is generated when students participate in the scholarship program and the nonpublic school tuition is less than the maximum MFP state and local allocation.
The following MFP Budget Letter documents are attached:
· Circular 1148-A: Quarter 1: Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program
· Table 1: State-Level Comparison
· Table 2: MFP Allocation and Adjustments
· Table 2A-2: MFP Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) Payments (Monthly)
· Table 5F: Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program (SSEEP) (Quarter 1)
Additional State Provided Trainings
Data-to-Action for SRCL Districts
Please forward to LEAs participating in the SRCL Project.
This workshop will provide SRCL subgrantees with concepts, skills, and tools to use in data-driven decision making. Participants will use their data to engage in the data-to- action process designed by the Picard Center for Child Development and Lifelong Learning. Each sub-grantee is invited to bring up to a 12-member team whose roles and responsibilities directly impact literacy instruction from birth through 12th grade, such as the school principal or designee, early childhood director, district instructional supervisors, literacy integration specialists, special education director, lead speech-language pathologist, master teachers, and certified interventionists. Teams should bring the following data, as appropriate, for each school/site in their Literacy Line: Fall benchmarking data for DSC, TELD-3, DIBELS and STEEP and spring 2012 data for LEAP, iLEAP, and EOC.
November 8, 2012
Gladys Higdon Instructional Resource Center
502 Beauregard Street
Alexandria, LA 71301
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
November 16, 2012
St. Charles Professional Learning Center
12727 Highway 90
Luling, LA 70070
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Training on Compass for School Leaders
Training on the Compass system for school leaders will take place in October. Network Teams are scheduling these with districts directly. This training is intended for LEA central office staff involved in the support and evaluation of school leaders. Participants are asked to review existing resources on Compass for School Leaders and complete some basic pre-work prior to the training. Pre-work assignments are outlined here.
Districts should not wait for Compass Leader training to redeliver HCIS training, as the processes within the system are the same for both teachers and leaders.
Microsoft Software Licenses for the Microsoft IT Academy Program
Please forward to all IT Directors and CTE Supervisors.
Over the next two weeks your IT Directors/CTE Supervisors will receive an email from Allen Childress at the Department of Education titled "Microsoft IT Academy Software Installation and Activation". This will contain your license key and instructions for downloading and installing the copies of Microsoft Office 2010 and Windows 7 that are part of the Microsoft IT Academy program. If you have any questions, please contact Allen Childress at 225-219-0447 or email@example.com.
Scholarship Choice Report
Please forward to all All SIS Coordinators.
The new Students Exercising Scholarship Choice report (SISR77) and extract file (SISF08) are now available in SIS. Look for the report under report group SCHOLARSHIP REPORTS.