Teachers To Rally In Baton Rouge As House Education Committee Convenes, Local Teacher Talks Education Reform
LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL) -- Teachers from across Louisiana are expected to march on the steps of the state Capitol Wednesday afternoon as the House Education Committee takes up discussion on three bills that are already state law but have been challenged in state courts, leaving their fate in question.
Key parts of Gov. Bobby Jindal's controversial education reform package were struck down by a state district judge as unconstitutional. In that package were provisions that removed teacher tenure, meaning teachers with seniority could still face layoffs.
On the "Afternoon Drive Home" Tuesday, Jonathan Cole, a social studies teacher in Lafayette Parish, said the "educational policies of our government officials in the Jindal administration have been a complete failure."
Cole said, while teachers in general are not opposed to reform, "these bills are not backed up by experienced educators who have an idea of what the profession involves in the classroom."
Teacher evaluations, known in Louisiana as COMPASS, are based on two one-hour observations per year, Cole said.
"That would be like evaluating...the effectiveness of Drew Brees as a quarterback by looking at one quarter," Cole said.
Cole said the "bureaucratic encroachment into the classroom" needs to be pulled back, allowing individual districts to determine what's best for their own interests.
"We need to return the authority to evaluate, hire, and work with teachers to the local level," Cole said. "Let the locals--let Lafayette--evaluate and decide what teachers need to be in our community."
The House Education Committee convenes Wednesday at 9 a.m. Teachers will meet at the Capitol at 1 p.m., Cole said.
To listen to the complete interview, click on 'Play' below.