Educators voice concerns about public school changes - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Educators voice concerns about public school changes

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For educators, parents and other community members, it was time to have an open discussion on how the changes being made to public education are affecting our public schools.   

The Louisiana Association of Educators held a public forum Tuesday night bringing those concerned with the changes together to discuss what needs to happen.

"If the Legislature can do anything, slow it down. And in some cases, stop it," Calcasieu Parish Superintendent of Schools Wayne Savoy said.

Savoy is talking about slowing down or putting a stop to changes such as school funding cuts, teacher evaluation changes, high stakes testing, vouchers and school privatization. 

But all who attended the forum have one goal in mind: Keep students first.

"I voice the concern of every teacher as we're going in to something new without any tools," said Liz Miller, a fourth grade teacher at Prien Lake Elementary School.

Miller is concerned that changes are moving too fast, and said those teachers doing a good job aren't getting any credit for it. She posed the question: How can the state expect teachers to make improvements if the state is not giving teachers any resources to help?

"The teachers are doing everything they can possibly can for their children, and that we are there for them and that we need their support and that testing is not everything," Miller said.

Fifty-percent of a teacher's evaluation is based on students' test scores.

S.J. Welsh Middle School Assistant Principal Keith Leger is evaluating the teachers at his school who teach the core subjects. He hopes it will help push the teachers to become even better educators.

"I think that as an administration, we've done a very good job, I think, of working with our teachers and to calm the fears and kind of pump the breaks a little bit, and let's recognize that in the end we're going to do things that are in the best interest of the children and that sometimes means kind of pushing our adult issues and concerns to the back and keeping the kids to the front," Leger said.

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