CPSB reacts to Gov. Jindal's education reform proposal

CPSB Reacts To Education Reform

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Governor Bobby Jindal's education reform proposal hopes to change how teachers are evaluated, earn tenure and get paid. The proposal also helps get parents more involved with the schools.

In October 2011, the La. Department of Education released its first ever report card for La. schools. The list showed close to 44-percent of public schools in the state received a letter grade of a "D" or an "F."

Calcasieu Parish School Board members are working to improve schools in the Parish.

"We brought in all kind of help and programs to meet the needs of these low performing schools, but more still needs to be done and we're trying to address those issues," President of CPSB R.L. Webb said.

Part of that improvement is getting more involvement from the parents in the school system.

"If we had strong parental involvement in our schools today, we would not have many of the problems that we have," Webb said.

On Twitter, Jindal said, "Schools must be accountable, but parents must also be involved. Our plan gives schools more options to engage parents."

And while this is something that's important for the success schools and student performance, Jindal's proposal will also affect teachers' tenure, or job protection.

The current tenure law is three years of teaching before teachers can receive tenure. The proposal would change the law to five years of instruction before teachers can receive tenure.

"I can remember when we didn't have a strong tenure law and it affected the lives of many people," Webb said. "It's so hard to get rid of an incompetent teacher. But we need tenure... we need to tweak it."

The proposal states pay raises for teachers will be in the hands of the leaders in the local school districts. Determining whether to give pay raises to teachers based on their teaching performance, what is being taught in the classrooms, and whether they are teaching at high-poverty schools.

Webb said if the pay raises are funded by the state then it will help in many areas. Although teaching salaries has been a hot topic, Webb doesn't expect teacher pay to be an issue.

"I don't think we suffer from that problem here in Calcasieu Parish, but I know there are many parishes that do," Webb said.

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