Higher Academic Standards Were Adopted for Kindergarten through 12th Grade Six Years Ago
Erika McConduit, President & CEO, Urban League of Louisiana
(New Orleans, LA, Tuesday, December 13, 2016) – We need to put all of our students on a path to success – whether that’s college or a job. In order to do that, we need to hold all of our kids to high standards.
Six years ago, Louisiana adopted higher academic standards from kindergarten through 12th grade. We’ve now had two years of tests aligned to these high standards and we’re seeing student scores start to rise. The number of students scoring on grade level in English Language Arts and math tests has increased from 24 percent in 2012 to 38 percent in 2016. And in Orleans Parrish and the Recovery School District, the number of minority students on grade level has also risen 5 percentage points since last year.
These gains are important because they show that more students are on grade level and rising to the challenge of the higher standards, and it’s not because Louisiana made it easier for students to pass tests. Despite the great progress in recent years, our students still face many challenges. Louisiana is currently working on a long-term plan to ensure that our expectations for both students and educators continue to rise so that all students have equal access to a high-quality education.
Change won’t happen overnight. It takes time. And we have to work harder. We have to support our students and our teachers in reaching these goals. But lowering the bar is never the right thing to do. We’re seeing that high standards really do make a difference for all our kids.