May 7, 2013

Superintendent's Message


Dear Colleagues:



I had the privilege of testifying in front of the House Education and the Workforce Committee in Washington this morning about accountability, the federal role, and the potential for a strong re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). In the time I was given to testify, I was privileged to represent many of the changes set in motion by policymakers and educators present and past in this state, yourselves among them.


The question at hand was the federal role in public education and the potential ESEA reauthorization by Congress. My message was clear: accountability is critical, but the federal framework needs to be simpler and more coherent than it is at present. The great struggle of schools is to get every adult working together to support one plan. Today schools achieve that coherence in spite of the federal role, not because of it.


In Louisiana, we believe that we must raise the bar for our children and educators. But we also believe the adults closest to those children should be empowered to make decisions as to how to achieve higher standards. That is why, due to our Educator Empowerment initiative, starting now, districts and charter schools will draw down federal funds through one grant application rather than 23. Districts and charters will also have one point of contact regarding these grants and will work within streamlined rules for spending that allow leaders to spend funds in the way they know is best for their kids. You can find details on this new framework for federal grants here  


This new, simple framework will allow you to shape your district's or school's spending around your plan for academic improvement. The Educator Empowerment unified application for federal grants will be open immediately and can be submitted anytime between now and June 14th.  Please also join us for webinars that can help you ad your team better understand the process.


If we believe our students can achievement more, we must believe our educators and families are in the best position to make decisions on their behalf. Aligning federal dollars and mandates with your plans is a step in that direction and will benefit our schools and kids if we think for ourselves rather than relying on tired rules and requirements.


As always, thanks for all you do for our children,




John White

Louisiana Department of Education

Twitter @LouisianaSupe

In This Issue:
District Support


Guidance for Raising Student Academic Achievement


As districts plan for the coming school year, the Department is focused on supporting districts to flexibly align federal funds to the needs of students. As such, the Department is providing a set of resources to support districts in building the plan for student support and realizing additional flexibilties. 

  1. Programmatic Support Structure: One point of contact per district for IDEA and NCLB planning
  2. Unified Application: Consolidation of 23 grant application into one system
  3. Fiscal Flexibility: Allows districts to use federal and state funds to support your district's plan to increase student achievement
  4. Coordinated Monitoring: Aligns all monitoring activities to one monitoring cycle per district per year 
Empowering Educators: Planning for Successempower

This webinar will serve as an overview of all four components of our support system.

  • Wednesday, May 8th 10-11 am
  • Thursday, May 9th 1-2 pm
  • Monday, May 13th 1-2 pm
  • Wednesday, May 15th 10-11 am

Unified Application: Creating the Plan 

This webinar will focus on the specifics of the unified application. 

  • Wednesday, May 8th 1:30-2:30 pm
  • Friday, May 10th 10:30-11:30 am
  • Tuesday, May 14th 9-10 am
  • Thursday, May 16th 1-2 pm

Webinar login information below:

  • Click here to log in.
  • Toll-Free Number: 888-204-5984 / Meeting Access Code: 1154970#

Department Announces SRCL Grant Finalists


The Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy (SRCL) grant is focused on increasing student achievement in literacy for all of our students. This year districts are building their grant applications around the four focus areas:


  1. Teacher and Leader Goal Setting
  2. Assessment and Curriculum
  3. Teacher Collaboration
  4. Compass Observation and Feedback


Twenty-one applicants have been selected as finalists to advance in the interview phase of the SRCL grant competition. The interview phase will count as 40 percent of the overall application. Click here for a list of finalists. 





Literacy Design Collaborative Cohort 3 Application for Newly Interested Districts


The Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) is a framework for preparing students for college and career by engaging science, social studies and ELA middle and high school students in:

  • Regular practice with complex text and its academic language
  • Building knowledge through content-rich non-fiction
  • Reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from text, both literary and informational

Space is limited to the first 150 participants. Applications must be submitted to Jill Slack at by June 7. Click here for the application. For information on participant expectations and training dates, click here.


Final Evaluation Resources


As we approach the end of the year, teachers and evaluators will evaluate student learning, determine areas of teacher strength and improvement, and begin planning for the next school year, as part of the Compass process. 


The table below recaps the key actions districts will take in the coming weeks to ensure all teachers and leaders receive actionable, accurate final evaluations.



Upcoming Compass Milestones


Verify student rosters in CVR for value-added teachers (teachers and principals)

Deadline for Teachers: May 10

Deadline for Leaders: May 17

*Please note this deadline has been pushed back by 1 week

Submit value-added invalidation requests to LDOE for any teacher who qualifies (districts leader)

Functionality Available: May 7

Deadline: May 31

Submit final evaluation data in CIS (evaluators)

Functionality Available: May 9

Deadline: July 15

Facilitate end-of-year conversations  (evaluators)

Start/End: Districts and schools develop timeline

Review value-added data and submit evaluations for these teachers (evaluators)

Available: June 24

*Please note that this date has been updated. 

Ensure all data is entered into CIS before it closes for SY12-13 (school and district leaders)

Deadline: July 15

Review Compass Final Report (all)

Released: August



In order to ensure you have all of the resources you need to complete these actions, we are recapping all of the materials we've released recently and the materials we're releasing this week.


For Districts: 

For Teachers:

*These resources have been updated or added this week.


All resources are available in the District and Teacher Support Toolboxes, along with additional resources to use when planning for the upcoming school year.



Compass Implementation Report


The Department is again releasing the state-wide Compass Implementation Reports that enables districts to review their Compass implementation progress and how it compares to other districts' progress. These reports are representative of reports that will be included in the final Compass report that the Department will release in August. The August report will identify districts names whereas our current reports do not yet have this functionality.


Please contact your Network Data Specialist with any questions about the reports.


Compass Summer 2013 New Evaluator Trainings


Summer 2013 Compass Evaluator Trainings for new evaluators of teachers and new evaluators of leaders have been scheduled. These trainings are for new evaluators and are required for district staff and school leaders to serve as certified evaluators. Training's will be held around the state and participants are welcome to attend any of the trainings. Participants are encouraged to attend sessions with other evaluators from their LEA.


Participants must register on Coursewhere. Click here for Teacher Evaluators and here for Leader Evaluators. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact your Network Leader.



Compass Teacher Leader Resources


Last month, nearly 2,000 Teacher Leaders convened in Lafayette, Louisiana. During this session, the Department hosted a workshop on Compass.  For those who were not able to attend, we've made the presentation available online, and have updated the Compass End-of-Year Process Guide for Educators, which now includes responses to many of the questions asked by audience members. 

Assessment and Accountability

DRC Online Clean-up System 

The DRC online cleanup system will be open beginning Friday, May 17 and ending Thursday, May 23.  The availability of this system cannot be extended. The online clean-up allows schools and districts an opportunity to review and correct impending zeros and demographic errors from hand-coded documents used during the administration of LEAP, iLEAP, LAA 1 and LAA 2. To access the online system, users should log into the password-protected LEAPweb section of the Louisiana Department of Education website, found here. There will be one final review of test data during the August data certification process. Please refer questions to Jennifer Baird at

School and Course Choice


Summer Advanced Placement Opportunity


To encourage growth of AP Programs statewide, the Louisiana Department of Education is inviting educators statewide to participate in "Laying the Foundation" (LTF) training which will take place July 8 - 11, 2013 at Pineville High School. 

LTF training is hands-on, teacher-to-teacher training. Endorsed LTF Trainers will provide in-depth training using LTF materials, the latest classroom technologies, laboratory experiments and online resources. Created by master classroom teachers, the LTF materials and resources can be used immediately in the classroom to add rigor to the existing curriculum and help teachers prepare their students for college and career readiness in the 21st century.


Teachers of AP courses or those interested in teaching an AP course should Tristen Guillory, AP Program Administrator, at or 225-219-0454 for more information about the summer institute. A limited number of registration fee exemptions are available.



70 Percent Instructional Requirement (FY2011-12)


Please forward to business managers and superintendents of city/parish public school systems, and business managers and board presidents of Type 2 and Type 5 charter schools. The 70 percent Instructional Requirement calculation is complete for FY2011-12. The following information, specific to your LEA/school system, will be sent via e-mail to each LEA/school system by Friday, May 10. Review the data and contact Christel Fulton at if you have questions about the information you receive. A summary of this data will be presented to BESE at the June Finance Committee Meeting.  



FY2012-13 Projected Local Revenue Data


Please forward to city/parish school district business managers and superintendents. In order to complete the FY2013-2014 MFP calculations for charter schools, projected local revenue data for each city/parish school district is required. We are collecting projected FY2012-13 local revenue data using the same collection tool as last year, Survey Monkey. The survey is accessible here and must be completed on-line no later than Tuesday, May 21, 2013. In order to complete the survey, you will need projected revenue and expenditure data for FY2012-13 (by fund, as you would report it in the AFR) using the keypunch codes outlined in the this attachment.

Note: Each field in the survey requires a response. If your district does not have revenues or expenditures for a specific keypunch code, enter 0 (zero) for that field. The system does not recognize dollar signs and/or decimals. To reduce the possibility of error, please exclude them from the data reported.


If you have any questions or need further information, please contact Christel Fulton at 225-342-0180, or via e-mail at



Title I Carryover


In order to support LEA's to use their federal funds to meet student needs, the Louisiana Department of Education is requesting a waiver to the Title I carryover limitation. Title I law caps the amount a school district may carry over from one fiscal year to the next at 15 percent. States may waive this cap for a given district once every three years if the district's request is "necessary and reasonable." However, due to the financial deficits, many school districts have already applied for and received their once-every-three years waiver. To help cushion the impact of the coming cuts, the U.S Department of Education will allow states to give carryover waivers even to districts that have already received a waiver in the past two years. This waiver will allow districts to carryover extra FY 2012 Title I funds to their FY 2013 programs.


Prior to submitting this request, the Department is required to provide all LEAs with this notice and an opportunity to comment on the waiver request.  Please submit comments on the attached form by May 30, 2013 to Bernell Cook at



Title 1 Waiver Comment Form 



Data Coordinator Webinar


Please forward to all data coordinators. The monthly Data Coordinator's Webinar will take place on Wednesday, May 15, at 2:00; participation instructions and draft agenda are now posted on Blackboard. There will be items of particular importance to all Coordinators (SIS, STS, PEP, and SER).

If there are any questions, please e-mail

Changes to the Web IEP


Please forward to special education supervisors, principals and special education teachers. The Louisiana Education Assessment Program (LEAP) block on the "Program/Services" page of the IEP has been updated to include ITBS and the ACT testing series. This change will assist in data collection and in documenting the need for testing accommodations. "The Help guides" for each block and form were also updated to provide current information regarding testing.  Please contact Nancy Hicks at if you have any questions.


Community Awards Program Opportunity


Capital One Bank will present the Investing for Good Creative Curriculum Challenge, a community awards program that encourages and supports the spread of financial education in public elementary, middle and high schools throughout Louisiana.  Nine educators who demonstrate the strongest, most-creative and sustainable ways that they are integrating financial education into their classrooms will be awarded prizes ranging from $500 to $4000.  Eligibility is open to all Louisiana public schools serving students in grades 2 through 12.  New and continuing programs for the 2013-14 school year will be considered. Click here to apply between May 8 and May 26 at 5 p.m. for consideration. Visit the website for more information, including the evaluation criteria and key program dates.


Education In The News 


Seven state high schools make Newsweek's top list


Nearly 8,000 students receive voucher seats for 2013-14


Calcasieu, Cameron to participate in early childhood pilot program


Survey finds support for tougher academic standards for TOPS


Letter: Preparing for college valuable 



LDOE Contacts
John White
State Superintendent of Education
(toll-free) 877.453.2721 
Twitter @LouisianaSupe

LDOE Links

LDOE Website

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