Apr 21, 2015

Committee to Examine Louisiana Student Standards in English and Math

BATON ROUGE, La. - The Louisiana Department of Education today released an application for school systems and appointed organizations to nominate members for the state’s academic standards review committee. The Department also held a webinar for officials representing these organizations to become acquainted with the nominating process. Last week, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) unanimously approved a process to review the Louisiana Student Standards in English and math. Based on a committee structure composed of a majority of current Louisiana educators, as well as a process including a series of public meetings, the review process will ensure that the Louisiana Student Standards appropriately represent the knowledge and skills students need to succeed. While the complete review process will take roughly one year, BESE may at any time consider revisions that arise from the deliberations.

“We are striving for a professional review process run by people who use standards on a day-to-day basis,” said State Superintendent of Education John White. “BESE has called for this process to be consistent with past standards review processes, to focus on the substance of the actual standards themselves, to improve what exists today rather than starting all over from scratch, and to allow for public input through an open, transparent process.”

The public will have the opportunity to review and provide input on every standard, and all meetings of the review committee will be open to the public.

A Standards Committee selected by BESE will serve as a steering committee and oversee the work of the content committees during the 2015-2016 review and will meet on an annual or as-needed basis in subsequent years. The Standards Committee is responsible for bringing recommendations to BESE, and is empowered to do so at any time. BESE has full authority to make any adjustments to the standards as recommended by the committee, or as determined by the Board in order to ensure student success and compliance with the law.

At least half of the 26-member Standards Committee will be comprised of current Louisiana, district and school-based educators. Many of these members will also sit on one of three content subcommittees (K-2, 3-12 English Language Arts, and 3-12 math) during the 2015-2016 review cycle. The content subcommittees will review each set of standards in depth and propose revisions to the Standards Committee for consideration. Current district and school-based educators will account for 75 percent of each 26-member content subcommittee.

School districts and organizations have been empowered to nominate qualified candidates for committee membership. Nomination forms are being released today, with nominations due no later than May 8, 2015. Per a motion by BESE member Mary Harris, nominees proposed to serve on one or more committees will be posted to the Department’s website for public review no later than May 25, 2015. BESE will consider the committee membership proposal, factoring in considerations to ensure geographic, racial and gender diversity on the committees, and will make final selections at its June 17, 2015 meeting.

In the summer of 2015, a two-month public comment period on the standards will be conducted. Members of the public will have the opportunity to review each individual standard online and share their feedback. The Southern Regional Education Board, a non-biased third party, will review the public comments and deliver a report to the review committees.

The Standards Committee and content subcommittees will meet publicly during the fall of 2015 and throughout 2016 to review public comments and student assessment results, and final recommended updates to the standards will be presented to BESE in December 2016. Also per the Board’s directive, in the event that any law amended or enacted during the 2015 Louisiana Regular Legislative Session addresses the state’s academic content standards, BESE will take necessary actions to ensure that the standards review process and related recommendations align to such laws.

Additional information on the standards review process, including committee qualifications, nomination process and process timeframe is available here.

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