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On Wednesday, YOU won in Baton Rouge!

Activism by educators, administrators, school board members and more was critical in convincing a legislative committee to collaborate on changes to the controversial state teacher evaluation program.

Thanks in large part to the thousands of e-mails, phone calls and personal contacts that you have made with lawmakers, the House Education Committee on Wednesday approved a bill to delay the implementation of punitive elements of the teacher evaluation plan for another year.

Unlike last year, when Gov. Bobby Jindal steamrolled his plan through the legislature, lawmakers actually talked to teachers, school boards and administrators and compromised on HB 160 by Rep. Gene Reynolds (D-Minden). If the bill makes it all the way through the process, it will mean that the results of the teacher evaluation plan cannot be used in disciplinary or termination proceedings for another year.

As the hearing on HB 160 progressed, lawmakers huddled with Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Steve Monaghan and leaders of other groups, crafting a compromise that was able to win unanimous approval from the committee.

As one legislator said, “We accomplished more in five minutes talking out in the hall than we did all of last year.”

At the same meeting, three bills that would have re-enacted sections of Gov. Jindal’s Act 1, which has been declared unconstitutional by a district court – were shelved by the committee, although they may eventually get a hearing.

Watch for this week’s LFT Weekly Legislative Digest for full details