September 3, 2013

Superintendent's Message

Dear Colleagues:


Today the Department of Education released the Compass Annual Report, detailing end-of-year outcomes in the first year of evaluators using the Compass tool. The report's intent is to provide the public and educators a field of information that can help in adjusting expectations, in making connections from school to school or district to district, and in considering future policy decisions.


The report is not meant to pass immediate judgment. Using this tool well will require patient review of where there are commonalities and where there are differences in how the Compass tool was used in its first year. In understanding these trends and contrasts, we can better understand how administrators and teachers can adjust their own processes or expectations in the years to come.  As with all elements of the Compass tool, this report is not an end or a definitive judgment unto itself. It is a prompt to conversation and part of the learning process. I hope you find it helpful.


The report details some basic findings: 

  • As a result of using the Compass tool, more Louisiana educators than ever before set goals and received feedback on their performance.
  • While past tools yielded uniform information for teachers that was not reflective of educators' diverse skills and needs, evaluators this year used the Compass tool to provide educators with individualized information based on multiple measures of performance.  As a result, final ratings are more diverse than in past years, spanning four performance levels. 
  • On a statewide basis, the overall ratings of educators generally corresponded with the academic progress achieved by districts. High-progress districts saw generally high ratings, while districts struggling to make progress had lower ratings.
  • Some districts that made particularly significant progress set a particularly high bar for classroom observations, allowing teachers more room to improve in future years.
  • Expectations varied from district to district, and evaluators' observation scores generally did not correspond with student progress rates in given schools and districts.

More than anything, however, this was our first year. We are in the midst of a generational shift, raising expectations for our students and for ourselves. We will make adjustments as we move ahead, but, having completed this first challenging year, above all else, we should be thankful for the dedication of administrators and teachers for making the process work for students. 


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




John White

Louisiana Department of Education

Twitter: @LouisianaSupe

In This Issue:

Superintendents' Conference Call


You are invited to participate in the Superintendents' Conference Call hosted by State Superintendent John White on Wednesday, September 11th, at 10:30 am CST. You may begin dialing into the call 15 minutes in advance. Please follow the instructions below. 


To join the Superintendents' September 11, 2013 Meeting:


  • Click here to log in. 
  • Select: Participant Application
  • When prompted, enter the Meeting Access Code: 9725937#
  • Dial into the Phone Bridge: 866-253-6505 (Use this phone bridge only; do not use the AT&T phone bridge listed on the link above.)
  • When prompted, please give the Meeting ID #: 1622547
  • 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.



Final Compass Report


Today, the Department published a report on the first year of Compass implementation. The report provides a basic overview of results and thanks educators for their efforts in this first year of the process.  The report includes data at the school and district level, including: 

  • Student performance and progress information
  • Overall Compass rating distributions
  • Observation score distribution
  • Student learning score distribution (with detail on value-added data and student learning target data)


Individual district reports and the full report are available by clicking here.


Please contact with questions.

Assessment and Accountabilitytestwebinar


Spring 2013 Online Field Test Release - Webinar Posted


Please forward to district superintendents, district test coordinators, school test coordinators and principals. 


The results of the spring 2013 Online LEAP/iLEAP Field Test administered May 6-22, 2013 were released at noon on August 30, 2013. To set up user accounts for district and school coordinators to access the INSIGHT portal, please click here for instructions. 


A webinar on how to interpret the online field test results has been recorded.  To access the webinar recording and PowerPoint presentation, visit the Assessment Webinar category in the library.


For questions regarding security or access to the reports, please call (877) 453-2721 or email If school-level users have other questions, they should contact their district test coordinator. If district test coordinators have questions, please e-mail or 
School and Course Choice

Course Choice Enrollment Closed


The enrollment period for Course Choice is now closed. Professional School Counselors should continue to check the Counselor Dashboard for any pending enrollment requests that may have come in as the deadline approached. For information about Course Choice or if assistance is needed please contact the Counselor Assistance Center by calling (877) 453-2721 or sending an e-mail to

Bullying Policy Survey


House Concurrent Resolution 91 of the 2013 Legislative Session asked the Department to convene a Bullying Prevention Task Force to study the procedures and processes by which incidents of bullying are reported and investigated. As part of the study, the task force is surveying local education agencies on their implementation of the state laws and BESE policies. Please complete the survey found at this link by Friday, September 13. We appreciate your participation as we study this important issue. If you have any additional information to provide on state bullying policies or best practices that may be helpful for the task force to consider, please email



Roster data submission for all students


Please forward to SIS data coordinators. To assist with the December EOC test pre-gridding process, please submit your roster file to the Department via an FTP site.  Previously, districts were submitting these data directly to Pacific Metrics, however, the Department received feedback that this process was cumbersome and led to inaccuracies.  As such, the Department is revising its process so that districts are able to submit their rosters directly to this FTP site for this administration of the EOC and for all future administrations of EOC. 


Please follow these directions and file layout, and please submit via FTP by September 23, 2013. Please note the file layout is slightly different than the layout used last year.


If there are any questions, please email


Data Coordinator's Webinar


In order to stay informed of the latest changes, due dates and all relevant information on the core data systems, please join us for the next data coordinator's webinar on September 11 at 2:00pm. Please see the INSIGHT Coordinator Portal for participation instructions and agenda. If there are any questions, please e-mail


Education In The News


Measuring Louisiana teachers is good for students


Teachers feel urgency of Common Core standards


BESE aims to lure Louisiana graduates back home


Scholarship program gave sons hope


Louisiana gets federal money to help poor kids take AP tests for free




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

LDOE Links

LDOE Website

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