For those reading The Advocate on Monday, loyal readers are again reminded that the fight for those who would eliminate any accountability for Louisiana's public schools, both traditional and charter, continues.
Readers who have been following Will Sentell's education news stories over the past six months were not surprised with the news article "Panel agrees on school grade changes" last Thursday, Feb 9th announcing that "a key state panel Wednesday agreed on a plan that "school performance scores" will now include a "first-ever academic growth factor — 25 percent— for all students." Advocate readers already knew that percentage number would most likely be the compromise solution to the "dueling panels" of Education Superintendent John White and Gov. John Bel Edwards. The article feature numerous quotes from those who would have raised the current 7 percent formula to 50 percent versus those who would have reduced the existing "growth" component to zero.
And now we have moved to the next battle for accountability: "balance in testing." While White "has recommended modest changes in test schedules," the contrived rival panel named by Edwards favors "an end to annual science testing in third through eighth grades." And the article continues with quotes from those in White's group who would continue some form of testing, while others, such as Donald Songy, education policy advisor for Edwards, suggest that "everyone is saying we are testing children too much," want to reduce science testing to two tests over the entire elementary and middle school years. Advocate readers know that as long as these "dueling panels" exist, the fight for Louisiana children versus union leadership will continue. Fortunately, the children are winning, and parents know this; regrettably the union leadership also knows this. No doubt, more articles by Sentell on this topic will appear in The Advocate.
John S. White