By Natalie Covher
Tony Davis of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) District Four presented an update on Education in our State Tuesday, July 19 at the Events Center. Starting this school year Louisiana Student Standards will replace Common Core in our schools. Davis explained that over 125 teachers and experts came together for over 9,000 volunteer hours during public meetings to review Common Core Standards. During the review they looked at what was working and what wasn’t. Some standards were tightened up others were opened up but the result was a set of standards tailored to fit our state, teachers and children. It was estimated that about a 25% change was made to Common Core standards to create the new Louisiana Student Standards.
The review resulted in a report given to the BESE board that was approved by state legislatures. Although this is the biggest change this year there are other changes in education. Davis explained how we got to these changes by reviewing the 2012 Legislature Acts 1, 2 and 3. These acts gave superintendents more autonomy, setting up school board members to begin selecting the superintendents as if they were selecting a CEO of a large company. Acts 1, 2 and 3 also looked at other things effecting education including Tenure Reform, Evaluations and Early Childhood Coordination.
Davis believes that the way Common Core was implemented in 2012 may have led to many of its issues. Saying that too many districts ended up rushing through implementation because they only began implementing it when they realized it wasn’t just going to go away. Davis reminded the public that the Louisiana Student Standards and Common Core are a sets of standards and are not curriculum. Curriculum is chosen at the district level. Standards are set to show where students need to be at the end of the year but they do not state how to get there.
Davis also updated the community on where we are now. He discussed alternative teacher certification methods, Every Student Succeeds Act, updated Science Standards, budget and emphasis on Early Childhood Education.
“The secret to success is early childhood education,” said Davis. “This is the key to the education gap.”
Davis explained changes to the rating system of early childhood development centers. The plan is to do away with star ratings and give them a letter grade just like the schools. Grading centers on teacher and child interactions instead of using tests and making expectations clear to create a unified system.
For more information on Louisiana Student Standards visit http://www.LouisianaBelieves.com