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Edwards reaches education compromise after series of failures

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BATON ROUGE- School reform advocates, business groups and teacher unions all came to compromise Thursday at the state Capitol over teacher evaluations. The Senate Education Committee passed a bill that will slightly reduce the effect of student test scores on a teacher’s performance.

 Currently high test scores can earn teachers cash bonuses while low scores can get them fired. It’s a small victory for Governor Edwards who supports the measure but it’s largely overshadowed by a series of failures he’s had in trying to move his other education bills.

 “I think for the most part it’s been fairly tough for them,” Barry Erwin with the Council for a Better Louisiana said. “There were a lot of bills dealing with charter schools, most all of those have been killed or won’t even come up,” Erwin said.

 Edwards in general opposes the growth of charter schools in high performing districts because they take state money away from those schools. He blames uncooperative legislative committees for bogging down the process.

 “I do think that school districts that perform well under our own accountability system ought to be given the autonomy to operate and make final decisions about whether new charter schools should open in those districts,” Edwards said.

 Supporters of charter schools say parents deserve a choice about whether or not they should send their children to a failing school.

The bill now advances to the full Senate for approval.


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