Jul 25, 2017
BATON ROUGE, La. --Louisiana's innovative approach to curriculum is showing instructional alignment and early student gains, according to an article released today by national education policy journal Education Next. The state's approach honors local control and helps school systems choose a high-quality curricula by providing needed information and incentives.
"There are a lot of barriers in the system that make it hard for districts and teachers to get their hands on the best stuff," Rebecca Kockler, assistant superintendent of academic content for the Louisiana Department of Education,told Education Next."We want the best to be the easiest to access."

Among the highlights, the article summarizes Louisiana's efforts to:
  • Publish reviews textbooks and curriculum programs--conducted by a network of Louisiana teacher leaders--and ranks the materials into three tiers;
  • Present statewide contracts to Tier 1 materials, deemed as "exemplifying quality," to make implementation more cost-effective for school systems; and
  • Provide similar services for educator professional development programs.
A recent independent study by RAND Corporation found these efforts, among other initiatives pioneered by the state department, have proved effective. The study reported Louisiana teachers were far more likely than their peers in other states to be using standards-aligned instructional materials, demonstrated a better understanding of the standards and taught their students in the ways the standards were intended.
As a result, Louisiana students are performing at higher levels. From 2013 to 2015, for example, Louisiana's 4thgraders showed the highest growth among all states on the National Assessment of Education Progress reading test and the second highest in math, helping to close the gap with the nation's public schools.
To read the full article about Louisiana's approach to curriculum and the benefits to educators and students, click here.
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