Legislation making it tougher for Louisiana public school teachers to earn and keep the job protection known as tenure won state Senate approval 23-16 on Wednesday, edging Gov. Bobby Jindal closer to the major legislative achievement of his young second term: a broad, historic makeover of public education in a state that lags most of the nation in school performance.
The measure also limits local school boards’ authority to hire and fire teachers. And it strengthens the hand of local superintendents and principals in such matters. But debate has largely centered on its effect on longtime teachers. It has already been approved by the House but must go back to that body for approval of minor Senate amendments.
Once the tenure bill was approved, senators immediately launched into debate on an equally far-reaching measure establishing a statewide private school voucher program and easing the way for creation of more charter schools.
Backers of both measures say they are needed to provide Louisiana parents with more education options, while providing a badly needed shake-up of public school governance.
“Teachers should be awarded for performance, not just because they are teachers. Not just because they have been there for a long time,” Sen. Conrad Appel, R-Metairie, the Senate sponsor of the measures, told the Senate. About 100 red-clad teachers and other opponents of the measure looked on from a rear balcony and side galleries.
The tenure bill would end the current tenure practice, tied to evaluations every three years in which teachers are graded as satisfactory or unsatisfactory. The Jindal administration says the system fails to weed out bad teachers or reward the best. The new system would require five years of “highly effective” ratings to earn tenure and continued evaluations to keep it. Those ratings are earned based on student performance on standardized tests and on observations by principals.
Opponents said the bill puts too much of the blame for Louisiana’s education ills on teachers, without enough consideration for instructors who might be good teachers stuck with especially difficult classes.
“You’re holding the teacher responsible for the whole problem,” Sen. Bob Kostelka, R-Monroe, usually a Jindal ally, told Appel. He complained that good teachers who miss the high tenure mark become “at-will” employees who can be fired for subjective reasons.
One surprise Wednesday: the Jindal administration allowed a few, relatively minor amendments to the tenure bill, meaning it must go back to the House, where the original was approved in a rare post-midnight session last week. It was unclear how quickly a House vote would occur. The administration had resisted amendments until Wednesday and it was once thought both measures could reach his desk by Friday. It was unclear when the House would vote but it appeared unlikely the bill would reach Jindal for his signature before next week.
The substantive amendment to the tenure bill was by Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton. It simply said that if a teacher is rated highly effective based on objective performance marks but “ineffective” by a principal—which could result in loss of tenure—the principal could not serve on a three-member appeal committee appointed by the local superintendent.
TagsAfrican American students Aundrea Kloor baby boomers Baton Rouge Brown Center on Education Policy Child And Adult Care Food Program Cori Martone Dalrymple Drive Dr. Luis Balart Families Exceeds Expectations FLORIDA Free and Reduced-Price Meals gastroenterology Glenn Simoneaux Harvard University Healthcare Management Health Care Programs Hurricane Isaac John White Louisiana Believes Louisiana public schools LSU College of Science LSU Continuing Education LSU Museum of Art LSU Student Union Michael Sartisky National Blue Ribbon OHIO Orleans Parish School Public schools across Louisiana Reopen Recovery School District Robert Williams SCHOLARSHIP Scholarships Schools Rebuilding Program South Louisiana St. Tammany Parish Student Aid and Scholarships Study Abroad Fair Summer Food Program Teacher Effectiveness Texas-Austin Tulane Medical Center UPCEA WEST VIRGINIA
Some Important LinksEDUCATION NEWS | UNIVERSITIES NEWS | SCHOLARSHIPS TIMES | COUNSELLING NEWS | STUDY HEADLINES | INDIAN EDUCATION NEWS| EDUCATION IN INDIA | MBA | SCHOOLS | BTECH | STUDY IN INDIA | STUDY IN THE UNITED STATES | K 12 NEWS | PLACEMENTS NEWS | SCHOLARSHIPS NEWS | GEEPL | STUDY IN STATES | STUDY IN USA | USA EDUCATION NEWS | SCHOLARSHIP WORLDWIDE | SCHOLARSHIPS PORTAL | SCHOLARSHIPS WATCH | SCHOLARSHIPS ALERT | SCHOLARSHIPS DIARY | SCHOLARSHIPS FORUM
Education Fair | Global Education Expo | Admission Fair | Best Education Fairs | Education Fair | Education Fairs | India Education Fair | Top Education Fairs | World Education Fairs | Leading Education Fairs | Education Fairs | Education Fairs | Education Fairs | Education Fair | Education Expo | India International Education Fair | Education Fair | Global Education Fair | Indian Education Expo | Indian Education Fair | Admission Fairs | Global Education Fairs