LAFAYETTE, La (KLFY) – Louisiana Superintendent of Education, John White, hosted the first of several statewide public forums at Lafayette Middle School Tuesday morning.
Educators, parents, and school leaders discussed a number of concerns ranging from teacher evaluations, special education services, achievement gaps, and much more.
“I would like to know what are the top three reasons why our teachers are leaving our school system,” said one attendee.
Many questions linger after State Superintendent White met with the public to get feedback on developing a state plan that aligns with the federal ‘Every Student Succeeds Act’ (ESSA).
“What we’ve got in place has achieved record 4th grade reading gains, top state of the nation for advanced placement gains, highest graduation rate in the history of our state, so something is working,” said State Superintendent White.
ESSA replaces ‘No Child Left Behind,’ a new law that has the Lafayette Parish Association of Educators calling for a significant overhaul of the state’s accountability system.
“We have problems with the single summative letter grading system that requires every school to be graded in A through F,” said Debbie Meaux, President of the Louisiana Association of Educators. “When I see the letter “A” on a school that tells me nothing.”
In addition, Meaux says the group also has issues with the number of standardized test mandates and the teacher evaluation system.
“I think that Louisiana is taking some steps in the right direction, but there are somethings in state law that we still need to address,” said Meaux.
“Discipline, that’s the biggest pet peeve that I have in our school system,” said one attendee.
State Superintendent White agrees that the education system still has some challenges to face.
“We’ve got too many students who are falling behind, we’ve got to help those students catch back up,” said State Superintendent White. “Any change we make in our system has to be about that first and foremost.”
State Superintendent White plans to hold these public forums across the state.
For more information on ESSA, click here.