Louisiana's state school board has backed a two-year delay for some consequences tied to the phase-in of more rigorous educational standards, called Common Core, at public schools.
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on Tuesday overwhelmingly supported the changes pushed by Superintendent of Education John White.
The plan will raise accountability standards — like the grading of students, schools and teachers — to match the Common Core in 2015, with a slow adjustment to toughen school grades set to phase in through 2025.
The state's top school board has approved $2 million in financing to pay for students to take individual classes elsewhere if their public school is underperforming or doesn't offer a course they want.
The money for the "Course Choice" program will be drawn from a state education trust fund stemming from an old oil drilling settlement, including $1 million that had been slated for local districts.
State Supt. John White wants to reallocate $2 million from a state education trust fund to pilot the “Course Choice” program. The program will let students take individual classes elsewhere if their public school is underperforming or doesn’t offer the course they want. The state’s top school board will consider the alternative funding request Tuesday.
Louisiana’s Department of Education is hosting a series of regional meetings this month to talk about simplifying the state’s high school diploma options.
The department is looking to put more emphasis on career training, after lawmakers’, employers’, and teachers’ repeated complaints that the state is too focused on sending kids on to college, instead of preparing them for real-world jobs.
Attempts to slow down parts of a public education overhaul have been quashed.
The Senate Education Committee opted Thursday not to take action on a bill that would have put off changes to the school grading system that take ACT results into account.
Rep. Kenny Havard, who authored the bill, said using the college entrance exam in performance score calculations will penalize schools where career-bound students opt not to prepare for or take the test. Schools graded a “C” or worse by the state can lose students and resources.
The state's top school board has dropped plans to do away with requirements for counselors and librarians at public schools.
The Dept. of Education had recommended the change as part of a continuing push to give more flexibility to local administrators. The reversal came as a surprise to the dozens of critics who flocked to the BESE meeting to voice impassioned opposition Tuesday.
Plans to create a statewide program that would give college tuition grants to Louisiana students who graduate early from high school have been scrapped.
The scholarship program was approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education last year in the state's education financing formula, with expectations it would begin in the 2013-14 school year.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has agreed to shrink the number of mandates required of local school districts, despite concerns it would let school districts eliminate school counselors and librarians to cut costs.
Superintendent of Education John White proposed changes to 150 different sections of policies governing school systems. That included getting rid of the statewide school calendar and changing physical education standards to allow credit for extracurricular activities like cheerleading and participation in marching band.