July 9, 2013

Superintendent's Message

Dear Colleagues:


I recently concluded a set of statewide meetings, discussing the diploma pathways from which Louisiana students can choose and the implications of these choices for their lives as adults. 


Above all else, I learned on the tour that our nation's education system has in many ways become unmoored from a vision of work readiness. We have perhaps spent so much time thinking about what constitutes a good education that we have lost some focus on why we educate in the first place. In doing this, we lose our sense of our ultimate charge: providing experiences that shape capable, disciplined, caring members of our workforce and society. And in losing that vision, we rob our students of enriching experiences outside the traditional academic classroom - many brought to life eloquently by teachers and students during the tour - that at the least can provide young adults a more certain future in an uncertain world, and at the most may save young lives.


What is called 'career education' must thus not be considered a specific program in high schools or a small department at the school board office. Instead, 'career education' should be the orientation of all that we do.


Being true to that idea calls for a more expansive set of policy and programmatic changes than I had anticipated at the start of the tour, for if the policies of our education system in its entirety - not just within 'career education' - do not support this concept, then we will surely fail to provide students with workplace learning they need and will seek.


An earnest attempt to achieve rigorous career preparation in Louisiana would include not just changes to our diplomas, but also changes to how we reward schools and school systems in our accountability system. It would include changes in funding for career coursework, apprenticeships, and internships. It would address the credentials required for professionals who teach and mentor young adults. And it would involve a concerted effort to inform the parents, grandparents, and other family members who shape so much of what adolescents choose to do with their lives.


This is not a plan that can be drafted hastily. To be sure, we will be recruiting Jump Start districts and regions post-haste; I am thrilled that we have had more than 100 participants in Jump Start webinars already. But we will need to be thoughtful and patient in developing this system of changes.


To that end, using the guidance you provided during the tour, in September the Department will release a blueprint for a new approach to diplomas and career education. We will then hold meetings again this fall in every region of the state to discuss the blueprint and to consider in greater depth your region's approach to joining our schools, our colleges and industry in one system of career education.


Following these discussions, we will propose to the legislature and to BESE a comprehensive package of policy changes that they may consider this spring, allowing a comprehensive view of the changes proposed.


We owe our young adults choices in the opportunities life presents them. That does not mean locking them into rigid tracks; quite theopposite, it means building more doors for them to open. I hope you see this effort as an important step through a door too long barely cracked open. 


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





John White

Louisiana Department of Education

Twitter @LouisianaSupe

In This Issue:


Final Evaluation Process


This year's Compass process is in its final phases. Last week and through July 22nd, districts are sharing value-added data with teachers through the Compass Information System. The list of dates on which value-added data will be available to educators, along with the name of each district Compass contact, in each district can be found here


The Compass Information System includes 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 Department has received questions about roster verification, and why certain students were included or excluded in VAM calculations. 

  • Students included in the teacher's final roster must meet certain criteria outlined here
  • If a student was included on a teacher's roster when the teacher completed roster verification but no longer appears on the teacher's roster, the student likely did not meet one of these criteria.

For additional questions please review our Compass End-of-Year Guide to Value-Added and our Compass Process Frequently Asked Questions.  


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. 

District Support


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 for the 2013-2014 school year, because 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. 


SRCL TELD Assessment Training


The Test of Early Language Development (TELD) is used to measure the oral language gains of preschool children in SRCL sites. SRCL Cohort 2 teams who will be administering the TELD to preschoolers during the 2013-2014 school year are invited to attend a training on August 1st, 9:30 am-1:00 pm, at the Claiborne Building in Baton Rouge. Any new Cohort 1 staff who will be administering the assessment are also invited to attend. Participants are encouraged to register at this link as well as to bring a TELD Kit to the training.


Please contact jill.slack@la.gov with any questions.

Assessment and Accountability


EAGLE System update


In our continuing effort to assist teachers with tracking student performance, the Department is announcing new additions to the EAGLE system that will take place in two phases over the summer. During phase one (June), 350+ math and US History items were added to the system, as well as a new magnification feature. During phase two (July), additional ELA items will be added to the systm, along with text-to-speech functionality for all math items.


Also, please be aware of the following system updates and annual maintenance period. 

  • As of June 14, EAGLE no longer supports Internet Explorer 7. Users must upgrade to Internet Explorer 8. Instructions for upgrading can be found on the EAGLE Landing page. 
  • The EAGLE system will go down for annual maintenance from Friday, July 12 through Sunday, July 28Student data and all district -and teacher- made tests will be purged. 
  • Starting on July 29, district data persons may begin to upload their school data files (students, teachers, classes).

If you have any questions about EAGLE, please contact the EAGLE Help Desk by phone at (866) 552-5583 or by e-mail at help@louisianaEAGLE.org.


2013-2014 DIBELS Waiver Application


A few districts have contacted the Department expressing interest in an alternate K-3 literacy assessment tool that they feel is better suited to support reading assessment and instruction.  At the August BESE meeting, the Department will request the Board amend the existing requirement that public schools with K-3 enrollment administer the DIBELS NEXT reading assessment and allow Department-approved waivers for an alternate assessment for the 2013-2014 school year. The deadline to apply to the Department for the waiver is July 26, 2013, and the application with instructions can be found here


If you have questions, contact patsy.palmer@la.gov.


2013-2014 DIBELS Data Reporting Deadlines


DIBELS NEXT is administered three times during the school year to monitor reading. If you have questions regarding the administration requirements for DIBELS NEXT, e-mail starr.paul@la.gov or jeanneen.higgins@la.gov. 


DIBELS NEXT Benchmark Assessment Collection

Beginning of the DIBELS NEXT Assessment Window

Length of the DIBELS NEXT Assessment Window

Timeline for Entering Data into the DIBELS Data System



Fall 2013

1 week after the district's starting date of school

three weeks or 15 school days

within two weeks after the assessment period ends

September 30, 2013

Winter 2014

1 week after students return to school from the winter break

three weeks or 15 school days

within two weeks after the assessment period ends

February 21, 2014

Spring 2014

5 weeks before students' last day of school

three weeks or 15 school days

within two weeks after the assessment period ends

May 30, 2014



2013-2014 Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Program (waiting on B edits)


Please forward to superintendents, charter school administrators, district test coordinators, and kindergarten contacts. The Developing Skills Checklist (DSC) is administered to all students entering kindergarten for the first time and the results are used to measure student readiness for kindergarten. Through the early childhood program, the Department is committed to increasing kindergarten readiness. The following sections of the Developing Skills Checklist (DSC) must be administered: Mathematical Concepts, Logical Operations, Language Memory, Gross Motor, Visual, Fine Motor, Auditory, Print Concepts, and Writing and Drawing Concepts (all sections in Books 1, 2, and 3).


To facilitate prompt scoring and reporting of results, the Department is requesting that all data for DSC be entered online at www.K.OnlineDSC.net at school sites. All data must be entered by October 15. If you have questions, e-mail starr.paul@la.gov.
School and Course Choice


2013-2014 Career and Technical Education Materials


Please forward to all career and technical education (CTE) supervisors, high school principals, high school counselors and CTE teachers. Career Education resources and updates are now available for the 2013-2014 school year. In subsequent years updates will reflect changes relative to a strengthened Career Diploma track, in order to provide more students a direct path to high-growth, high-wage careers. This will include revising the framework of IBCs, AOCs, and coursework as part of the diploma overhaul The resources below pertain only to this upcoming 2013-2014 school year. 

  • Industry Based Certification (IBC) Matrix. Click here to access.
  • Areas of Concentration (AOC) Guide. Click here to access.
  • State Approved Skills Certificate (SASC) Handbook. Click here to access.
  • Journey to Careers (JTC) Facilitator's Guide and Curriculum Framework.  Click here to access.  
  • Education for Careers (EFC) Facilitator's Guide and Curriculum Framework. Click here to access.
  • JTC and EFC teachers are not required to attend trainings to teach these courses.  Please refer to the facilitator's guide and curriculum.

Year 2 implementation of Microsoft IT Academy (MS ITA) will require districts to complete a 2013-2014 Cooperative Endeavor in eGMS for the 5 percent allocation of Carl Perkins funding to support the statewide agreement. The CATE system close-out date to input 2012-13 CTE data is July 31, 2013.  All resources will be available in the Department's website library


For additional information regarding the resources please contact lisa.french@la.govFor questions regarding implementation and/or training with MS ITA, please contact evelyn.blanson@la.gov



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. In order to update educators on the recent reboot of course choice, 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#


Khan Academy in NOLA - Workshop


Mark the date on your calendar. Khan Academy is a nonprofit organization that provides over 4,000 online instructional and academic support videos for students, parents, and educators with the goal of providing a world-class education free for anyone, anywhere. Khan uses a cutting-edge approach to assess students and monitor progress in a 21st Century environment. Khan is hosting a workshop in New Orleans where teachers will learn how to confidently navigate Khan Academy content, tools, and data while blending content and data to drive personalized instruction in their mathematics classrooms.


  • Event:  Khan Academy in NOLA
  • Date:  Wednesday, July 24th
  • Location:  UNO/ 2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, LA  70148
  • Time:  9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Cost:  Free
  • Apply now:  www.khanacademy.org/r/NOLAapp


MFP Accountability Report


Please forward to all parish/city superintendents and charter school board presidents. The Louisiana Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) Accountability Report has been prepared to comply with HCR 130 of the 2011 Regular Session of the Legislature. The Accountability Report is available on the Department's website and can be found hereThe letter from State Superintendent of Education, John White, regarding the Accountability Report, is attached here for your reference. 


If you have any questions, or need further assistance, please contact the Department at (877) 453-2721.


The Cecil J. Picard LA4 Early Childhood Program


Please forward to superintendents and business managers and administrators and financial officials of type 2 charter schools. Attached below is the allocation schedule for the Cecil J. Picard LA 4 Early Childhood Program for FY2013-2014. Please complete the attached budget application documents and email to doestatebudgetsrevisions@la.gov by close of business on Friday, July 26, 2013. Approved grant award notifications can be viewed via the GAP system.


For any fiscal related questions, you may contact rashaunda.matthews@la.gov or for program related questions, you may contact nicholy.johnson@la.gov.



FY 2014 Cecil J Picard LA4 Program - Allocation Schedule

FY 2014 Fiscal Assurances

FY 2014 LA4 Budget Forms 


Annual Financial Report (AFR) Update


We are committed to assisting you with your data submissions and to continually improving submission methods.  However, due to AFR updates, old versions of AFR File Builder will not work in the 2013 collection beginning in September.  If your vendor does not produce a file for upload, you should have your Security Officer change your security from "Upload" to "Update"; then you will be able to enter your data directly into AFR via the online update feature. Since this online feature is available, we will be moving away from File Builder. Please e-mail david.kibbe@la.gov with any problems or questions.


Data Coordinator Webinar


Our next Data Coordinator Webinar will be Wednesday, July 10th at 2:00 p.m. For more information as well as the link, please visit the Data Coordinator Portal on Insight.


Education In The News


Department of Education reports continuing enrollment in Course Choice pilot


Louisiana students fare better in end-of-course exams


Minority, poor children gain from charters


Preparing for Common Core is important: Letter 


Academic achievement gap is narrowing, new national data show  

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

LDOE Links

LDOE Website

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