Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Over LFT objection, panel okays evaluation plan

LFT President Steve Monaghan explains the union's position to the House Education Committee.

The science that underlies a proposed new teacher evaluation plan may have merit, but the jury is out on whether it is ready to become law, Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Steve Monaghan said today. Nonetheless, the House Education Committee approved the bill without objection, and sent it to the House floor for further action.

Testifying before the committee, Monaghan said that HB 1033 by Rep. Frank Hoffman (R-West Monroe) is based on a promising but untested science called a Value Added Model, or VAM.
“This young science has both advocates and doubters in the academic community,” Monaghan said. “We believe it is problematic to build a value-added model into law without the benefit of an adequate field test.”

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Frank Hoffman (R-West Monroe) credited Monaghan with helping to create amendments that made the bill more palatable to teachers. Changes included a guarantee of teacher confidentiality, a process to challenge unfavorable evaluations, and a requirement that charter schools also be subject to the law, among others.

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