Louisiana's Transition to Higher Expectations

In Louisiana, most jobs require some education after high school, primarily at a four-year college or at a two-year technical and community college. This is a change from jobs of generations past. In 2011, 28 percent of the Louisiana workforce had a two- or four-year degree. To meet Louisiana's future job needs, that number must double. 

In order to ensure our students are ready for Louisiana's economy, our state is moving to higher standards. By 2025, we aim for an "A school" to be one where students on average are achieving at the mastery bar. Right now, students in an "A school' are achieving at the basic bar.  

As we raise expectations, the Department recognizes that educators need time to learn these new standards and the tests associated with them.  As such, the Department and BESE have approved a set of transition policies that allow educators, parents, and students time to learn the new expectations.
  • To listen to Superintendent John White explain the policy and answer educators’ questions, click here.

  • Click here to view Supt. John White’s Teacher Town Hall on these topics.

In brief, the policies address:

  • Long-term Goal: By the year 2025, A-rated schools will average "mastery" or "level four" performance. Today, schools rated "A" at a minimum average "basic" or "level three." A "level four" or "mastery" is the standard for college and career readiness.
  • New Assessments: Louisiana moved to more rigorous assessments for grades 3-8 in 2014-2015. However, high school assessments did not change. Instead, Louisiana continued to administer End-of-Course tests aligned to the Louisiana Student Standards and the ACT.
  • School and District Accountability: School letter grades are awarded based on a curve in 2013-2014, 2014-2015, 2015-2016 as Louisiana builds its new two-year “baseline” from the improved assessments. The curve will be determined using the 2012-2013 distribution. For example, if 10 percent of schools earned an "A" in 2012-2013, the top 10 percent of schools would earn an "A" in 2013-2014, 2014-2015, and 2015-2016. Only after we have a new two-year baseline of accountability results in 2016 will BESE begin raising the bar toward our 2025 goal when an "A" school will be a school where the majority of students are college- and career-ready, as determined by a score of 4 out of 5.
  • Educator Accountability: For 2013-2014, 2014-2015, and 2015-2016, value-added data will not be available as the new baseline is determined. The state will provide districts with transitional growth data, but there will be no requirement that value-added data be used in Compass ratings for 2014, 2015 or 2016.
  • Curriculum: In addition to the Classroom Support Toolbox curriculum resources, the state produced Louisiana Curriculum Guidebooks in ELA and math.