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Superintendent's Message

Dear Colleagues:

 

First I want to thank those of you who participated in last week's BESE meetings. As you know, it was a lengthy meeting. The Board took hours of input on a number of issues and made some important adjustments to the state's approach to adopting new expectations for students. At its December meeting, BESE will address issues of elementary and middle school promotion, evaluation, and letter grades. Later in the winter, the Board will consider high school policy. These policies will be aimed at ensuring that as the state makes this transition to competitive standards, we do not humiliate schools, denigrate educators, or punish students in the process.

 

In keeping with that spirit, the letter grade formula new in 2012-2013 also sought to raise standards while ensuring fairness for schools, students, and educators. The formula focused on important priorities for the state and its schools:

  • Raising the academic bar to align with new standards, by awarding points only for performance at basic and above
  • Honoring progress among students who have not yet achieved proficiency
  • Two-year and four-year access through the Explore, Plan, and ACT series
  • College success through advanced coursework and through assessments of college readiness, such as AP and IB

This Thursday the Department will release final school and district letter grades, along with corresponding data. Just as important, the state will release report cards for every school and district, formatted to show clearly how the formula works and what it rewards. The release validates what we set out to do nearly two years ago: raise the bar, see great outcomes for kids in the process, and respect schools in the process. That's a commitment the Department will keep throughout this multi-year transition.

 

You will receive detail on the scores in your district in advance of the public release. In the meantime, please accept my congratulations for a great year, and my gratitude for your efforts to expand opportunities for Louisiana's kids.

 

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

 

 

John  

 

John White

Louisiana Department of Education

Twitter: @LouisianaSupe

In This Issue:
Content

How to Start an AP Course - AP Webinar

 

A webinar titled "How to Start an AP Course" will be held on November 12, 2013 at 3:00 pm.  Designed to de-mystify the process of starting an AP course, the College Board will walk through the most essential information including demonstrations of key web tools such as AP potential; real-world examples from school administrators and expert information and tips from AP program staff. Space is limited. Click here to register for the webinar. 

 

For additional information, please contact Tristen Guillory, AP Program Administrator, at tristen.guillory@la.gov, or by phone at 225-342-3989.

 

Now Available - Eureka Math Printed Student Editions 

 
Printed ed
itions of the Eureka Math curriculum (also called Engage NY) are now available for districts and schools to purchase. Click here for more information and the link to begin purchasing your materials.
Assessment

Deadlines for ACT - Approved Accommodations and SER Eligibility 

 

Please forward to district test coordinators and special education supervisors/directors.

 

  • Deadline for ACT to receive ACT testing accommodations for ACT- approved accommodations: December 13, 2013 If you have any ACT testing accommodations questions, contact ACT directly at ACTStateAccoms@act.org. or call 800-553-6244, ext. 1788.
  • Last day to enter eligibility for LAA 1 into SER:  January 3, 2014
  • Last day to enter eligibility for LAA 2 into SER:  March 7, 2014

 

If you have any SER questions, contact nancy.hicks@la.gov.

  

Important Announcement Regarding the PASS System

 

Please forward to district curriculum coordinators and district test coordinators. The PASS (Practice Assessment/Strengthen Skills) online program will no longer have math tests and all ELA items, except for writing prompts, have been removed. These items are no longer aligned to our state's standards. PASS will still include science and social studies assessments.

 

To help prepare students for the spring 2014 transitional tests and to help teachers better understand the CCSS shifts in grades 3-8 ELA and math, the Department has provided practice tests aligned to the CCSS and additional practice items available through EAGLE.

 

End-of-Course Assessments Grading Policy for December 2013 Administration

 

Please forward to principals and district test coordinatorsBecause of the changes in content for the 2013-14 English language arts and math end-of-course assessments, reporting of results for the December 2-18, 2013 administration will be delayed until January 2014. Biology, U.S. History, and spring and summer results will not be delayed. This delay may create circumstances where districts will not be able to incorporate the end-of-course scores as part of the final grade for the course within most midterm grading periods, possibly impacting graduation or course progression for some students.

 

To address any concerns, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will allow a waiver of the end-of-course test grading policies based on extenuating circumstances.  

 

Waiver requests must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Districts may only submit waiver requests to the Department after the test administration window.
  • The waiver may only be applied to the December 2013 administration of the English language arts and math end-of-course tests.
  • The waiver may only apply to a specified student or group of students affected by an extenuating circumstance (i.e. impact on graduation or course progression).

More information will follow in an upcoming district newsletter. For immediate questions, please contact dana.maxie@la.gov. 

Finance

 

Believe and Succeed, Second Round Application Released

 

The application for Believe and Succeed, Second Round grants is now available.  Through Believe and Succeed, the Department provides three types of grants:

 

  • New School Development Grants fund the training of school leaders who will turn around struggling schools or start new schools to serve students who would otherwise attend D or F schools. 
  • Expanding Excellence Grants fund the expansion of high-performing school operators to turn around struggling schools or to serve students who would otherwise attend D or F schools.
  • School Improvement Sustainability Grants fund school districts so they can set up systems to continuously assess and adjust school improvement efforts at 2011-2012 Focus Schools over the remainder of the current school year and into the next school year. 

 

Applications are due November 15th.  To view the application, please click here.  Please e-mail david.shepard@la.gov if you have any questions or are interested in applying.

 

LEA Extended Sick Leave Survey

 

Forward to business managers of city/parish public school districts, lab schools and LSMSA.  The survey was due by Friday, October 4.  Attached is a summary indicating which LEAs have not responded. Act 788 of the 2012 Regular Legislative Session requires LEAs to annually submit a report to the Department on the number of extended sick leave requests granted each year, the number of leave requests denied, and the reasons for such denials. Complete this survey regarding extended sick leave for FY2012-13.

 

If you have any questions about submitting this survey you may contact zalinsky.matthew@la.gov

Policy

BESE Meeting Recap

 

Last week the Department provided BESE with a detailed presentation about our state's transition to higher standards. After hearing this presentation and comments from over 70 speakers, BESE chose to adopt policies as emergency rules in order to immediately address selection and use of instructional materials, parental review of materials used in the classroom, and the privacy of student information. These policies uphold the ability of local school systems to select instructional materials and resist any curriculum imposed by federal or state government. The policy supports parental notification of texts used in high school English, and it require the use of identification numbers that do not allow for students to be personally identified when state tests are administered beginning in the next school year.

 

Update on Implementation of Act 151 and Act 291

 

Acts 151 and 291 of the 2013 Legislative Session addressed the testing of high school students who are not pursuing a high school diploma. The law mandates that a student with a disability who is not pursing a high school diploma shall not be administered any state standardized test unless the Individual Education Plan (IEP) indicates that the assessment is appropriate for the student. As required by IDEA, a student's IEP team determines the most appropriate assessment for a student with a disability and should continue to do so. The Department is consulting with district and special education leaders on the accountability implications of this new legislation. Guidance will be provided in the near future.

 

Task Force Meeting Schedule

 

Please see below for a list of dates and times for upcoming task force meetings. 

 

Meeting:

When/Where:

POSTPONED: Agriculture Education Task Force 

 

Reschedule date TBD 

Instructional Resource Task Force 

October 23, 2013

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Louisiana Municipal Building

 MFP Task Force

November 21, 2013

10:00 am

Iowa Room (1-153) 

Claiborne Building

 

Data

LEADS Portal, INSIGHT Portal and eGMS Scheduled Maintenance 

 

To facilitate proper maintenance of applications and corresponding databases, all applications available from the LEADS Portal and INSIGHT Portal, as well as eGMS, will be down on Wednesday, November 6th, from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm, for normal monthly production server maintenance.

 

Additionally, beginning at 5:00 pm on Friday, November 8th, the following systems will be unavailable while the servers housing their data are being updated. By the afternoon of Saturday, November 9th we hope to have everything up and running.  We will post notices on the LEADS portal and the Insight portal indicating the status of the systems.

 

If you have any questions contact kim.nesmith@la.gov

 

Main Systems

Federal Programs Systems

Curriculum

CUR

Title I, Part A

TIA

LEADS

LIQ, LRS

Title I, Part D

TID

Louisiana Educational Data Repository

LEDRS

Title I, School Improvement

TIS

Non-Public Schools

NPS

Transportation Ridership Survey

TRS

Official Transcript System

OTS

 

 

Profile Of Educational Personnel

PEP

 

 

School Calendar System

SPC

 

 

Special Education Records

SER

 

 

Sponsor-Site

SPS

 

 

Survey Administration System

SRA

 

 

Survey System

SRV

 

 

Student Information System

SIS

 

 

Student Transcript System

STS

 

 

 

Financial Systems

Teacher Systems

Annual Financial Report

AFR

Curriculum Verification and Results Reporting Portal

CVR

Grants Award Program

GAP

Compass Information System

CIS

 

 

Teacher Assessment Program

TAP

 

 

Teacher Certification Management

TCM

 

 

Teach Louisiana

TEACH

 

 

Louisiana Textbook System

LTS

 

 

Prekindergarten Student Performance Checklist

PKP

 

 

Technology Proficiency Assessment

TPA

 

 

Education In the News

 

Panel praises Common Core 

 

BESE data shows increasing graduation rate

 

Student makes effort worth it

 

BESE acts to quell criticism

 

BESE spells out curriculum rules

 

Common Core is here to stay, state education board says

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

LDOE Links

LDOE Website

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