Louisiana teacher flight - KLFY News 10

Louisiana teacher flight

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Teacher resignations is a touchy topic many educators are reluctant to talk about; but what's happening is undeniable. The number of teachers who resigned throughout the state is astounding. In Lafayette Parish, nearly triple the number of teachers last year left the classroom.

"The bureaucratic intrusion, the state mandates, combined with local mandates testing," says LPAE President Rodolfo Espinoza. Espinoza says the increase in teachers resigning started around 2012. Espinoza says the reasons for many of the resignations locally coincide with two things - the state's new school grading system and new evaluation system.

Espinoza explains both add layer after layer of bureaucracy. "Everything becomes about reaching that number in the school. So, the effects on the teacher in the classroom is more and more demands, bureaucratic demands to teach to the test; instead of what their professional opinion is on how to teach something," adds Espinoza.

Espinoza says mandated teaching, mandated topics are all intrusions that have added stress in the classroom for teachers. "What ends up happening is that a teacher understands that they're not being evaluated on their quality. They're being evaluated on their ability to jump through hoops and meet the check lists," explains Espinoza.Espinoza adds that teaching is as diverse as people and the mandated method of one program fits all doesn't work. "it then punishes those teachers who aren't abiding by the mandated checklist," notes Espinoza.

The Lafayette Parish School System calculates an estimated 30% decrease in teachers in leaving the classroom; that's compared to last year.

LPSS Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper: “For the last two years I think we had the most turmoil that I have seen in my 42 years of being in education. So, I can understand people wanting to leave.”

“We done a lot of good things with discipline. We done a lot of good things I think with the new hiring process and mentoring; but obviously there are still some problems with our communication. I can’t tell you that on a given day all 5,000 employees go home satisfied. That's not going happen. We continue to work with our principals. We continue to work with our staff to try to make communication better; because that's the thing we can do. We can make life better for teachers in small ways," adds Dr. Cooper Cooper.
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