Still, the state is sticking to hope that all will be upheld eventually, and continues to tout successes within the program.
Take, for example, the state Superintendent of Education John White’s press release about there being no evidence of a greater number of teachers leaving the job since the reforms have hit.
But last month Vermilion Parish showed that they had almost tripled their retirements or resignations so far this year (127 this year).
While the number isn’t quite as staggering, Acadia Parish’s numbers have also almost tripled.
According to the school board, this year 23 teachers have retired or expressed their intent to retire, compared to only nine last year.
White’s press release was in response to data the Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL) released showing that 25 percent more teachers had retired since the reform, particularly since the new evaluation system had been designated.
That new system, which will rank teachers as ineffective, effective or highly effective is now currently up in the air thanks to a reversal by Judge R. Michael Caldwell in the 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge.
While the state’s superintendent says the attrition rate has remained close to 12 percent for the past three years, the TRSL disagrees.
The TRSL says that percentage change is different and other parishes’ numbers are showing that the 12 percent just isn’t holding up. The TRSL said attrition during this school year has jumped to 26 percent, or specifically from 2,598 to 3,295.
While the local numbers are not as big as those of Vermilion or Lafayette parishes, the short-term and long-term effects are going to be there, according to Superintendent John Bourque.
“We’ve been more fortunate than other parishes, but I think the problems are these evaluations,” he said. “That’s why we are working with the state to get the evaluations to be more teacher friendly.
“Now, it’s not that teachers do not want to be held accountable, but they want a good accountability system.”