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Jindal calling for parents' perspectives on getting, keeping effective teachers

3 years ago December 08, 2011 Dec 8, 2011 Thursday, December 08 2011 Thursday, December 08, 2011 9:14:23 PM CST in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Ashley Rodrigue

BATON ROUGE-  The governor's on a crusade to get better teachers into classrooms, and he wants you to be involved.

He hopes it will fix the education system in Louisiana.

This week, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education decided teachers will be evaluated on student performance.  One-third of students are below grade level in important subjects.  He says once those evaluations point out the most productive teachers, he wants to know how to keep them and how to bring more to public schools.

He said, "If you know that a highly effective teacher is important, you've identified your highly effective teachers, it makes sense to do everything you can to keep those highly effective teachers in the classroom."

Jindal says who better to know how to do that than students and their parents.  The governor wants to go directly to both to get ideas on retaining and recruiting the best of the best and he says any idea for incentives is welcome.

"Tenure policies, compensation policies, everything has got to be on the table," said Jindal, "Some of these have been considered sacred cows before, but the reality is this, we're moving in the right direction, but you can hear from those statistics, we've gotta move much more quickly."

Parents are thrilled to have a seat at that table.

The Baton Rouge President of the Louisiana PTA, Melicent Lester said, "The parents have been trying to have a voice and to me the more they're involved in their schools at every level, the better off their children will be."

Louisiana Black Alliance for Educational Options member Eric Lewis said, "Parents are the primary stakeholders, aside from students in education, so it's very critical that we engage parents in this process."

"I think it's important that he gets parents that have children in the public school system," said Julie Edmonson, member of the Louisiana PTA.

And they know exactly what advice to send Jindal's way.

Lewis said, "Obviously financial incentives would play a big part, but I think for the most part, with most teachers, they want to be treated as professionals, they want to be respected and they want to be given the opportunity to be creative and innovative."

"Give them more incentive to get those national board certifications, make it a priority that everyone in the school has to have national board certification," said Edmonson.

"I think it's really about teachers feeling like they have some control in their classroom, some discipline," said Lester, "I don't think that the measures are there right now to allow them to teach."

Jindal will also be meeting with BESE members, school districts, teachers and their unions to find the best method.  He'll continue those education meetings Friday.

The governor expects to announce how he decides to tackle this task when revealing his legislative package in January.

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