Although the Jackson 5 sang that “ABC” is as “easy as one, two, three,” meeting the educational needs of the students in Louisiana is much more complex. On December 1, 2015, I had the opportunity to learn more about how Louisiana’s educational policies are molded while serving on the Educator Effectiveness Committee for the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).
In the week prior to the meeting, I received a copy of the agenda that included reports for each item that was to be discussed. Although the meetings are conducted in a fast pace, I have been fascinated by the information in my agenda. For this meeting, the agenda included a report on the Teacher Exit Interview System and a report regarding certifications in critical shortage areas. For this meeting, we were asked to consider a program that would allow teachers to add on to their teaching certificates special education certifications through the Relay Graduate School of Education. In my agenda, there was a detailed explanation of the curriculum and courses for this add-on certificate. During the meeting, a representative from the Relay Graduate School of Education was asked to speak and the program was approved.
Following my meeting, I was able to observe the Academic Goals and Instructional Improvement Committee meeting. The main purpose of this meeting was to discuss procedures regarding scoring for schools where students opted to not take part in standardized testing. In his presentation, Superintendent John White stated that the proposed measures were the result of discussions amongst local school district’s superintendents. During the meeting, members of the public also had the opportunity to speak.
While attending the BESE meetings, I also had the chance to speak with Joni Lacy, my coordinator with the Louisiana Department of Education. As we looked ahead to my activities for the spring, I was reminded of the fact that I still have so many wonderful events to come. I am especially looking forward to attending the 2016 National Teacher of the Year Conference in January. There, I will get to meet each state’s Teacher of the Year while taking part in activities that will benefit the education profession.
Even though education isn’t “as simple as do, re, mi”, the knowledge I am gaining about the shaping of educational policies will certainly help my students achieve.