Louisiana designed its system to ensure that expectations for A-rated schools are consistent with all such schools nationwide.


Louisiana fully implemented college- and career-ready standards in 2014, and then adjustments made through stakeholder input led to the adoption of new Louisiana State Standards for the 2016-17 school year.


The state has also built incentives for schools to accelerate students and to emphasize subjects beyond reading and math. For example, Louisiana will reward schools that get more students into Algebra 1 by eighth grade, and it will test high school students in science and history, in addition to reading and math.


The state has a long track record using its current state assessments, the LEAP, and the state’s high school end-of-course tests.


In addition, the state requires all high school juniors to take the ACT, a college-ready entrance exam. However, the state does not provide much information about the accommodations that are available for English learners and students with disabilities, particularly for the ACT and WorkKeys. Without the ability to use accommodations and submit valid scores, some of the key benefits of using the ACT may not extend fully to all students. The state indicates that it translates its mathematic assessments to Spanish, but it does not explain why other assessments are not translated as well.


Finally, the state should provide the steps it will take to ensure that it does not exceed the 1 percent cap on participation in the alternate assessment for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.


New Jersey


New Jersey received top marks for strong commitments to college- and career-ready standards and high-quality, aligned assessments in math and English Language Arts, as well as assessments in science, social studies, and early grades (K-2) that will help address concerns about curriculum narrowing.


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