Jul 28, 2017
Third-Party Organization to Recommend Steps Schools Will Take Under ESSA

BATON ROUGE, La.- The Louisiana Department of Education today issued a request for proposals (RFP), seeking an external review of schools in the state's Special School District, including the Louisiana School for the Deaf, the Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired and the Louisiana Special Education Center. The RFP specifically seeks nationally recognized organizations to conduct an evaluation of the operations and academic programming of each school and make recommendations that can inform each school's plan for improvement under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA.
The Special School District was established by the Louisiana Legislature to provide education to students housed in state or privatized facilities and hospitals. Special School District staff oversee eligible students enrolled at the District's three schools.
"We have an opportunity under ESSA to re-double our efforts in the service of every child," said State Superintendent John White. "A third-party evaluator will provide parents, educators, and state officials a set of objective facts so that the schools can develop the best possible plan for improvement in the future."
The third party evaluator and any subcontractors will be expected to possess a strong understanding of the role of schools that serve populations of students with specific disabilities, of the student population to be served, and of the cultural and social-emotional competencies necessary to provide a quality education to students in each of these settings.
The selected evaluator will observe each school's educational program, operational structure, and finances to determine the current strengths and weaknesses of the school. By the close of the calendar year, the evaluator will issue comprehensive report that reviews each school's:
  • Service delivery model and how it compares to national models of excellence;
  • Administrative and staffing structure and its ability to effectively address the unique needs of the school's student population;
  • Use of state and federal funds to design instructional programs that are culturally responsive to the student population and aligned to national models of excellence; and
  • Implementation of Louisiana's graduation pathways.
In addition, the report will provide an overview of the actions necessary to achieve a comprehensive program of excellence for students served in each school, including how these schools should coordinate with other schools and school systems across Louisiana in a functional way.
In accordance with Louisiana state laws, this RFP has been approved by the Office of State Procurement, which is part of the Division of Administration. Proposals will be accepted by the Louisiana Department of Education now through August 31, 2017 at 2 p.m. CDT.
All applications will be reviewed by a panel that includes Louisiana-based experts who work with individuals who are deaf and/or hard of hearing, individuals who have visual disabilities, and individuals who have orthopedic impairments. The review panel will recommend one proposal to be considered for a contract to carry out the evaluations. The contract, which will be funded by federal grants administered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, will then be considered by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in October, and the Office of State Procurement will consider final approval.
For more information about the RFP, click here and search for RFP number 6151.
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