Parish schools measure student growth
Act 54, tying student academic growth to teacher and principal evaluations, is now part of Louisiana’s educational accountability system.
It takes effect beginning with the 2012-13 school year.
The legislation was passed in May 2010 and, unlike accountability reports comparing the previous grade of a student to his or her current grade, value-added accountability scores are intended to indicate that a teacher has “grown” a student a full year.
A value-added teacher score of 50 percent reflects an average full year’s worth of growth for students that a teacher teaches. A higher percentage reflects more than a year’s worth of growth, while less than 50 percent reflects less than a year’s worth of growth. Many factors such as attendance and poverty are factored into the student value-added anticipated growth score.
The St. Mary Parish school district recently reviewed pilot Act 54 scores and averaged teacher scores as a means of keeping a pulse on district initiatives, according to Superintendent Donald Aguillard.
The averaging is in no way reflective of more than a quick snapshot of what a pilot program is intended to do — provide a means of readying personnel and resources for upcoming changes, Aguillard said.
Recently, teachers at 11 elementary schools received teacher value added scores. The overall district average for teachers at the 11 elementary schools was 50 percent.
Four schools with grades 6-8 received value-added scores. The district average for these four schools was 53.4 percent, and two schools with configurations that included grades 4-8 had an overall average of 47.3, the superintendent said.
To aid with Act 54 requirements, two middle schools, Franklin Junior High School and B. Edward Boudreaux Middle School are in their first year as Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) schools. The schools follow a value-added growth model of professional development, instructional support, classroom observation and evaluation.
The parish recently qualified 12 individuals at FJHS and BEB as TAP evaluators.
TAP is a research-based process assisting teachers to meet value-added accountability of Louisiana’s Act 54 legislation. Lead teachers and administrators at the TAP schools received training on classroom observation, meaningful evaluation and conducting post-observation conferences in preparation for the certification test.
St. Mary Parish educators who have certified as TAP evaluators include Maggie Drexler, Molly Stadalis, Dequindra Redding, Kristen Andersen, Terri Bolden, Michelle Bishop, Marquita Grant, Angela Pickett, Edra Warren, Kathy Randolph, Loren Klein, Stephen Schmidt and Dr. Monica Mancuso.
Three additional St. Mary Parish educators await their certification scores.