Louisiana’s plan to intensify teacher job reviews to focus on better identifying top-notch instructors and ushering out nonstarters is causing a lot of heartache, particularly for those who teach subjects, such as drama, in which student achievement is difficult to quantify. The change has three main prongs: principals making more frequent and rigorous classroom observations; teachers in core subjects like math and English receiving ratings based on how their students perform on standardized tests; and teachers in grades and subjects where those tests don't apply devising other ways to chart student growth. The formula is a half-and-half mix of principals' evaluations and student progress, each meant to balance the other. So if testing data fail to reflect a teacher's energy and dedication, for example, the principal's review is a chance to give the teacher more credit. And if a principal's assessment is too rosy or harsh, the data could counter it. The article is in The Times-Picayune.