June 25, 2013

Superintendent's Message

Dear Colleagues:


The counterpart to accountability is trust. If we assign a school or educator responsibility for achieving a goal, we should trust them in setting a plan to achieve the goal. Compass is a true professional development tool only when educators see it as a tool to achieving goals for students rather than bureaucrats.


This need for trust is why last winter BESE adjusted Compass to allow principals to make the vast majority of evaluation decisions based on their own assessments of classroom performance, rather than based on data alone. It is a principal's job to understand the work teachers and students produced and to evaluate that work, after all.


Because of the need for trust, I have also indicated that the Department will be looking to expand further principals' discretion in rating educators in the year to come, starting with greater flexibility in the frequency and timing of classroom observations. This will help our principals and teachers improve in their day-to-day work. Please look for word on that flexibility in July.


At the same time, as we grant greater discretion, so too must we ensure rigor and equity in ratings, across districts and schools. We can never go back to a system that disrespects teachers by labeling 99 percent of them 'satisfactory.' This is why for the 2012-2013 school year BESE maintained the requirement that educators whose Compass data rank in the lowest ten percent receive ineffective ratings (this is roughly 1,000 out of 50,000 educators). It is also why in September the Department will issue a report showing the rigor with which schools and school districts evaluated educator performance, so that the public can have a transparent view of each district's approach. 


You now have the Compass data produced in your district's classrooms. Because every district's plan for discussing the data with teachers is different, you can establish a schedule for the data to become available to educators. Please complete this brief survey if you have not yet set this schedule. Note that in CIS teachers and administrators can now see a detailed report showing students' expected and actual test scores, allowing a detailed accounting of how test scores resulted in the Compass data. Please be sure to establish a point person in your district for teachers to contact if they have questions about this report or other aspects of the process.


Please remember that the Compass data are one data point among others, including student learning targets and observation. The data should be used in combination with those other measures to arrive at the final rating. In a small number of cases, districts have requested that the Department declare Compass data invalid due to mechanical or timing issues. We have responded to these requests, but if you have other issues to raise, you can email us here. In roughly 50 cases statewide, I have determined to hold the data of specific teachers for further review. In these cases, the majority of students were performing at 'advanced,' 'mastery, or 'excellent,' but the ratings placed the teacher as ineffective. As we move toward greater discretion for principals, I believe these specific cases merit further study and consideration and have thus asked our team to list them as 'pending future study' in your reports.


Finally, the sharing of these data is the next step in our Compass process for this year.  Districts will use this information to determine final ratings for teachers in the next month, and the Department will be releasing a Compass report in September summarizing our state's overall outcomes for the year.  Per state law, these data shared with districts this week and any individual Compass data are not to be shared publicly.


Like any tool, Compass is as effective as its users are effective. This means we need to trust its users, just as we need to ensure rigor and accountability on behalf of the students we are committed to serve. 


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


This week, the Department shared Compass data for teachers with superintendents. The Department is giving districts flexibility in determining when to share this data with teachers and who should serve as the teacher's contact person in each district. In order to designate your contact person and your release date, please complete this survey by June 26 at 10 am.


Teachers and leaders will be able to access their data on the date your district designates through the Compass Information System.  The Compass Information System will include detailed, student-level reports on students' actual versus expected performance, and data about how teachers performed relative to their colleagues across the state. For more information, see this presentation.


The list of district contacts, and the date on which value-added data will be available to educators in each district can be found here and will be shared with teachers this week via the Ed Connect newsletter and the Department's website.


If a district has not indicated a date on which value-added data will be available to educators, it will be available June 27th. More information on this and the value-added process can be found here.

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. Over the last month, the Department has released final evaluation resources and guidance, which can be found in the District and Classroom Support Toolboxes.


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.


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


In September, the Department will release a comprehensive Compass report on 2012-2013 implementation.


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


Save the Date - Statewide Superintendents Collaboration


We are looking forward to gathering in Lafayette on July 16th for the Statewide Superintendents Collaboration. This event will be an opportunity to collaborate with superintendents and district leadership from across the state around the four focus areas


  • What: Louisiana Statewide Superintendents Collaboration
  • When: Tuesday, July 16th
  • Where: Cajundome in Lafayette, LA
  • Who: District superintendent and up to three other participants


Registration begins at 7:30 am.
Sessions begin at 8:30 am.

District-led breakout sessions
will focus on the following topics: 
  • School Leader and Teacher Learning Target
  • Assessment and Curriculum
  • School and Teacher Collaboration
  • Compass Observation and Feedback
  • Rigor of Student Learning  

Hotel Information

The Department will reimburse districts for 1 night of hotel cost per district for up to 4 participants. We have blocked off rooms at several hotels in the Lafayette area at the government rate. Districts will be reimbursed after the event. For a complete list of hotels, please click here.



Registration information will be available by Friday, June 28thMore information will be available through the Department's webpage.  


Thank you to all of the districts that have submitted applications to present. If you have any questions, please contact District Support at districtsupport@la.gov.


Professional Learning Communities (PLC) at Work™ with Richard and Rebecca DuFour 

The Louisiana Department of Education has identified collaboration as one of our core 
focus areas. Teacher and principal collaboration allows for those closest to students to work together to solve problems that will most improve student achievement. 


The Louisiana Department of Education and Center for Development and Learning (CDL) are pleased to announce an event on August 27-28 in New Orleans that will support district planning and implementation for collaboration. The Department will cover the institute registration for a limited number of participants. For more information on the event, click here 


  • When: August 27-28, 2013
  • Where: Hilton Riverside, New Orleans
  • Who should attend: Each district should consider its plan for implementing or improving collaboration and identify those who will most impact effective implementation. Potential participants may include superintendents, district leadership, principals, and teacher leaders.


Science and Social Studies - Plans for 2013-2014 and Beyond


Please forward to curriculum coordinators, principals, and science/social studies teachers.


Resources for 2013-2014 school year:

The Department has produced a set of documents to support science and social studies teachers as they plan for instruction in the coming year.


  • Click here for 2013-2014 science standards or grade level expectations (GLEs) by grade.
  • Click here for 2013-2014 social studies standards or GLEs by grade.
  • Updated assessment guidance documents (e.g., test structure, example questions, etc) are now available for the 2013-2014 science and social studies assessments.


In planning for 2014-2015 and beyond, we will work with educators from across the state to (1) identify areas of strength and weakness in our current science and social studies standards, (2) determine if (and how) we can improve our summative assessments and (3) prepare additional support resources to assist science and social studies teachers.  Specific dates for engagement will be released before the start of school. 


Please contact susannah.craig@la.gov with any questions.


Department Announces SRCL Cohort 2


Nine districts and two charters have been selected to participate in the second cohort of the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy (SRCL) grant. SRCL is a federal grant aimed at improving the literacy achievement of students. Each age span - preschool, elementary, middle, and high - are included. Louisiana's grant enables sub-grantees to build and sustain effective systems that address four key focus areas.


The first cohort, which includes 17 LEAs, began the program in April 2012. Click here for a list of Cohort 1 and 2 participants. If there are any questions, please email jill.slack@la.gov. 


Legislative Session Update Call


You are invited to participate in a webinar to review the 2013 Legislative Session on Thursday, June 27, at 3:00 pm. Please refer to this memo which summarizes the new laws and resolutions pertaining to elementary and secondary education. You may begin dialing into the call 15 minutes in advance. Please follow the instructions below:


To join the 2013 Legislative Session update call on June 27, 2013:
  • Click here to log in.
  • Select: Participant Application
  • When prompted, enter the Meeting Access Code: 2368350#
  • Dial into the phone bridge: (866) 206-6154 (Use this phone bridge only)
  • When prompted, please give the Meeting ID#: 1617726
  • You will need to identify yourself in order to be placed into the meeting.
  • Please note that this call is for superintendents and charter leaders only.


June BESE Meeting Summary Report

For a summary of the most recent BESE meeting, please click here
School and Course Choice


Jumpstart Webinar


The Department will host a webinar on July 9th at 3:30 pm to provide information to districts and stakeholders interested in learning more about efforts to strengthen the career diploma and an opportunity for a small number of districts to participate in a pilot Jump Start program. This pilot will work to identify the challenges and opportunities as the state works to strengthen its diploma.


Webinar login information below:


  • Click here to log in.
  • Call-in number: (877)-336-1831/ Meeting Access Code: 2416498#


Course Choice Professional School Counselors Informational Webinar Series


Please forward to all professional school counselors. Course Choice will provide students and their families with access to rigorous college and career course offerings that best match students' abilities and needs beginning SY 2013-2014. The program has recently been rebooted to better match the needs of students, parents, and schools. The Louisiana Department of Education will offer online informational training to all school-based professional school counselors on the program and school roles and responsibilities in the Course Choice approval process at the dates/times below. Please choose one webinar to attend.   

  • July 15, 2013 2:00-3:00 p.m.
  • July 22, 2013 2:00-3:00 p.m.
  • July 26, 2013 9:00-10:00 a.m.
  • August 5, 2013 9:00-10:00 a.m.
  • August 8, 2013 9:00-10:00 a.m.
  • August 12, 2012 2:00-3:00 p.m.   

Webinar login information below:  

  • Click here to log on.
  • Toll Free: (877) 336-1831 / Meeting Access Code: 2416498#
MFP Allocation


The FY 2013-2014 MFP Formula allocation and payment schedules are now available here on the Department's website. Please reference Circular 1153 and Attachments to view your allocation and payment schedule.


HB1 $69 Million Appropriation


The FY 2013-2014 $69 Million appropriation and payment schedules are now available here on the Department's websitePlease reference Circular 1154 and Attachments to view your allocation and payment schedule.


Grant Claim Submission Deadline - July 15th


Final claim submission deadlines for awards ending June 30th each year are listed below. These include claims submitted through eGMS. All requests for funds must include goods and services received by June 30th.



  • 8 (g) claims due: July 5th
  • TANF claims due: July 5th
  • Perkins claims due: July 5th
  • Federal claims due: July 15th
  • State claims due: July 15th
All claims for reimbursement with supporting documentation must be emailed to ldoe.federalclaims@la.gov or ldoe.stateclaims@la.gov. (Please do NOT mail or fax claims.)


Data Coordinator Communications


We are now using the Coordinator Portal on INSIGHT, found here, rather than blackboard as our communication tool with data coordinators.  Find the latest information regarding the Department's systems on this portal, including dates and times for monthly webinars, data submission calendars, discussion boards, and FAQs.  District data coordinator's must ask their district security officer to add them to the LDS_LEAS_DATACOORD role under the Longitudinal Data Systems (LDS) in TAS.  


Please contact john.fielding@la.gov with any questions.  


Summer System Updates


A detailed overview of all the system summer updates will be posted to the Coordinator Portal by Friday, June 28th . Districts please provide this information to your vendors.  


Please contact john.fielding@la.gov with any questions. 


LEADS, INSIGHT Portals and eGMS Scheduled Maintenance and Additional Outage Postponed


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.


Previously we notified you that, beginning at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, July 3rd, the systems below will be unavailable while the servers housing their data are being updated. These updates have been postponed.



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: Education gains deserve better play


BESE approves "Course Choice"


Jefferson Parish Public Schools to partner with Delgado for career education


Principals get more flexibility in assessing teachers 

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

LDOE Links

LDOE Website

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