|Designing Louisiana’s Comprehensive
Evaluation Model (COMPASS)
Research shows the efficacy of teachers and school leaders is the most important school related factor affecting student performance. Therefore, as we attempt to advance K-12 public education, our most powerful lever is supporting and advancing the capacity of administrators and teachers to improve student achievement. Yet the subjective educator evaluation system currently in place fails to provide teachers and administrators with pertinent and objective data to understand and improve their effectiveness.
With the enactment of Act 54, beginning during the 2012-2013 school year, 50 percent of every educator’s evaluation – teachers and principals – will center on the growth their students make over the course of the school year, called the GO- Index (Growth Outcomes Index). The remaining 50 percent, the SITE-Index, will be multi-dimensional and based on traditional evaluation techniques, such as classroom observations. Together, the GO-Index and SITE-Index will provide teachers and administrators with a Clear, Overall Measure of their Performance to Analyze and Support Success, or COMPASS. Louisiana’s educator evaluation model, COMPASS, will be designed through collaboration with educators and policy makers for the purpose of identifying strengths and weaknesses and improving instruction for the benefit of students.
For example, teachers will be able to identify the subjects and classes where their students are making the most and the least progress. And these results can be used by teachers and administrators to tailor professional development plans to target specific areas, thereby improving instruction.
Likewise, school management teams can use data to identify strengths and mitigate areas of weakness. For example, if a teacher is making exemplary progress, the school could create a professional learning community around this teacher’s work to share that teacher’s approach with other teachers.
Whereas previous law required informal evaluations to be conducted annually and formal evaluations to be conducted every three years, Act 54 requires all educators to be formally evaluated annually.
Additionally, the new law calls on BESE to not only establish components of effective teaching, as previous required, but to now define measures of effectiveness and their respective values. Specifically the law calls for the student growth component (GO-Index) to account for 50 percent of the evaluation model (COMPASS).