June 18, 2013

Superintendent's Message

Dear Colleagues:


The most important decision school and district leaders make is the decision to hire or assign a teacher on behalf of the students of her school or district. The state's laws and rules should hold managers accountable for outcomes while empowering them to make decisions that honor and promote effective teaching, first and foremost.


The state's laws have changed significantly over the last year to achieve this level of empowerment. Please find here a summary of tenure, compensation, improvement, dismissal, hiring, and assignment laws and their implementation as we wrap up the 2012-2013 school year. You can also find guidance on how district leaders should consider spending the $69 million allocated to school districts for 2013-2014, with half dedicated to educator pay raises.


The state's education labor laws rest on local leaders arriving at rigorous, fair decisions about the quality of classroom teaching and school administration. Whether your district and schools use Compass or use another instrument, we should all aspire for school leaders to use multiple sources of information to arrive at personnel decisions themselves. At a BESE meeting this morning, I stated that in the year ahead our state should move toward all evaluation decisions being made by local leaders rather than by the state, which currently determines the evaluation score for a small number of teachers. I also shared this perspective in a letter to the editor in last Friday's Advocate.


Over the course of the next several days, the Department will host three webinars to update district and charter school staff on the ongoing process of Compass data distribution and collection. This year, districts will make key decisions about how and when value-added data is released.  During the webinars we will discuss these decisions and next steps in providing you with up-to-date test results and analysis for use in Compass ratings. Our goal is to ensure that your district and principals are prepared to answer questions and to use the data for evaluation decisions, so please have a staff person who can brief you on details attend the webinar.


There is no substitute for the good judgment of accountable local leaders. We will only improve if we trust them to run schools as best they see fit, and we should empower them accordingly.


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





John White

Louisiana Department of Education

Twitter @LouisianaSupe

In This Issue:


Student Outcomes Data


Next week, value-added results will be available in the Compass Information System. The data will first be released to superintendents only. Results will be available to principals and teachers subsequently. 


To help district leaders prepare for the use of this data, the Department will host a webinar, offered at three different times. Districts should identify an individual who will serve as the district's primary contact for teachers and principals around value-added data to participate. Other staff including data managers and accountability managers are welcome to attend as well. Participants must register using the links below. We will send additional webinar details via email at least 12 hours prior to the call.


1) Thursday, June 20th 

  • Time: 11:30 pm - 12:30 pm
  • Register here


2) Friday, June 21st

  • Time: 9:30 am - 10:30 am
  • Register here 


3) Monday, June 24th

  • Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm 
  • Register here 


Following the webinar, each district will be asked to make two critical decisions via a survey. Please complete this survey

by Tuesday, June 25th at 5:00 pm. 

  1. When, within a designated window, would you like value-added data to be available for teachers in your district?
  2. Who will you designate to serve as your district's point of contact for your teachers and principals around value-added data?


Final Evaluation Resources


Compass is designed to give educators the feedback and support they need to improve in the classroom and to prepare students for college and career. A critical component of this design is the end-of-year conversation, grounded in final evaluation data.


Statewide, final evaluations have been submitted for 49% of teachers and 39% of leaders. Complete reports on Compass implementation can be downloaded from the Compass Information System. A de-identified, district-by-district comparison is available by viewing the Compass Implementation Report


All final evaluation results are due into the Compass Information System by July 29th.


The Department will release a comprehensive Compass report on 2012-2013 implementation in September.  


Compass Ratings and Workforce Management Decisions


Compass results will factor into a number of district workforce management policies, such as compensation and tenure. This memo outlines key workforce management policies and the ways in which Compass factors into related decisions.


Register Now - Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration


Please share with all district educators. Registration is open for the 7th Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium through July 5, 2013. Join us as we honor the 2014 Louisiana Teacher and Principal of the Year finalists. The event includes: 

  • Luncheon hosted by Dream Teachers featuring Ron ClarkNew York Times bestselling author and founder of the Ron Clark Academies.
  • Common Core-centered professional development workshops led by Louisiana Teacher Leaders.  
  • Awards ceremony and dinner to honor the state's top educators and announce the 2014 Teacher and Principal of the Year. 

Please contact excellenteducators@la.gov with any questions.

District Support


Literacy Design Collaborative - Cohort 3 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 the following areas:


  • 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 


Currently, more than 300 teachers in 20 districts participate in Cohorts 1 and 2. The Department is pleased to announce the addition of 12 new districts for Cohort 3. Click here for a list of participating districts. Click here for key calendar dates and participant expectations.


Please contact Jill Slack at jill.slack@la.gov with any questions.


Teacher Leader Event Reimbursement Information


Districts requesting reimbursements for lodging costs from last week's event should complete and mail the attached coversheet along with the participants' zero balance hotel invoices to the address provided on the coversheet by Friday, July 5, 2013. Districts may also submit the attached coversheet and all required invoices electronically to DOEFederalBudgetsRevisions@la.gov.


Given the proximity to the event the Department will not cover hotel costs for the following districts: Acadia, Iberia, Lafayette, Pointe Coupee, St. Landry, Vermillion and West Baton Rouge.


If you have any questions or concerns, please email louisianateacherleaders@la.gov.   



School and Course Choice

Course Choice Program


The Course Choice Program will be launched as a pilot project for the school year 2013-2014. The course offerings will be limited to high school-level Carnegie credit course offerings, and each provider will be limited in the number of students that can be enrolled. The Course Choice Counselor Assistance Center will continue collaborating with school counselors to make sure courses are academically appropriate for each student.


Upcoming process: 

  1. The Course Choice Registration System has been taken temporarily offline, and all current enrollment requests have been reset.
  2. Students and parents who are interested in taking a Course Choice course offering and who have already requested registration will need to re-register.
  3. Course Choice counselors will continue working with parents, students and school counselors to make sure interested students are placed in courses that are academically appropriate.
  4. We ask that school administrators act on these requests within 96 hours. 

Should school administrators need assistance with accessing the approval page, please e-mail the Counselor Assistance Center at coursechoice@la.gov.


District Charter Application Process


By August 5th, each local district is required by law to start their district charter school application process.  Districts must use the common district charter school application found on the Department's district charter webpage. The Department has created a manual and a walkthrough PowerPoint that will guide district leaders through the steps required to set up a district charter application process. These resources will be posted to the Department's website on June 12th.


Districts with questions regarding the district charter application process should contact rfa@la.gov.


Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Fiscal Requirements


Please forward to business managers and financial officials of public school districts, charter schools, lab schools, and other entities and state agencies defined as an LEA for these purposes.


New Application Available:


The IDEA MOE Confirmation Application for FY 11-12 will be accessible through eGMS on June 19, 2013. The deadline for submission is July 31, 2013. (To access the application select Fiscal Year 2012 on the GMS Access Select Page in eGMS.)


Previous MOE Applications:

  • The NCLB MOE Application for FY 13-14 is currently accessible through eGMS. The deadline for submission of the NCLB MOE application is July 15, 2013. (To access the application, select Fiscal Year 2014 on the GMS Access Select Page and complete the NCLB MOE Assurance.)
  • The IDEA MOE Verification for FY 12-13 is still available for completion under Fiscal Year 2013. Please review the status of your application. The initial due date for submission was March 19, 2013.

For questions regarding the reviews, contact nakia.jason@la.gov or jason.berard@la.gov for eGMS technical inquiries or support.



Legislative Wrap-up Webinar


Please save the date for a webinar reviewing new laws and legislative resolutions passed during the 2013 Regular Session. It will be held Wednesday, June 26th from 10:00 am -11:00 am. More instructions will be provided in next week's newsletter. In the meantime, please contact Erin Bendily at erin.bendily@la.gov with any questions.



LEADS, INSIGHT Portals and eGMS Scheduled Maintenance


All applications available from the LEADS Portal and INSIGHT Portal as well as eGMS will be down on Wednesday, July 3rd, from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm, for normal monthly production server maintenance.


Additionally, beginning at 5 pm on Wednesday, July 3rd, the systems below will be unavailable while the servers housing their data are being updated.  By the afternoon of Monday, July 8th we hope to have everything up and running.  The Department will post notices on the LEADS portal indicating the status of the systems.



Main Systems

Federal Programs Systems



Title I, Part A




Title I, Part D


Louisiana Educational Data Repository


Title I, School Improvement


Non-Public Schools


Transportation Ridership Survey


Official Transcript System




Profile Of Educational Personnel




School Calendar System




Special Education Records








Survey Administration System




Survey System




Student Information System




Student Transcript System





Financial Systems

Teacher Systems

Annual Financial Report


Curriculum Verification and Results Reporting Portal


Grants Award Program


Compass Information System




Teacher Assessment Program




Teacher Certification Management




Teach Louisiana




Louisiana Textbook System




Prekindergarten Student Performance Checklist




Technology Proficiency Assessment




Education In The News 


Letter: Trust people closest to kids


State Department of Education releases report on progress


Louisiana teachers slated for pay raise next year


Louisiana Teacher Leaders participate in two-day summit


State's education chief talks about changing diploma options


Teachers show gains in preparation


Public school gains encouraging


Letter: Common Core no conspiracy


Editorial: Plan to simplify diplomas is solid first step


Study: Louisiana's teacher training redesign works

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

LDOE Links

LDOE Website

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