A committee of Louisiana’s top school board voted Tuesday morning to modify the way public school teachers will be evaluated.
The previous plan called for teachers to be rated on a scale of 1 to 5.
Under the change, teachers will be assigned a number from 1 to 4.
State Superintendent of Education John White said the new format stems from feedback provided by 10 school districts that are testing the new reviews, which stem from a 2010 state law.
White said some officials complained that, under a plan that won state approval in December, it was hard to distinguish the scoring between the top two categories.
The annual evaluations will begin with the 2012-13 school year as sort of a test run.
In the 2013-14 school year, teachers in the bottom 10 percent – the category is called ineffective – face the loss of tenure, which is a form of job protection, and may be the subject of dismissal proceedings.
The state has about 50,000 public school teachers.
About 17,000 math, English and other teachers will have half of their evaluation linked to the growth of student achievement and half linked to classroom observations by principals and others.
Teachers rated as ineffective in either category will be get an overall rating of ineffective.
Plans are still in the works on evaluations for teachers whose students do not take standardized tests, such as those who teach art, music and physical education.
Under a bill that Gov. Bobby Jindal is expected to sign on Wednesday, new teachers will have to score in the top 10 percent – called highly effective – for five out of six years to earn tenure.
The change was approved by the Educator Effectiveness Committee of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The full board is expected to approve the plan on Wednesday.
The proposal will then be posted for public comment for 90 days, then returned to BESE for final action.