- Louisiana has a high-quality plan that presents a strong vision for students in the state, and it sets high expectations for results.
- The state’s plan is grounded in strong standards and assessments, it places a strong emphasis on academic proficiency and growth, and its clearly defined school-rating system will ensure that stakeholders, schools, and students will have a clear understanding of how schools are serving all children.
- Louisiana’s inclusion of science and social studies assessments is a strong element of its plan, and it has compiled a novel set of measures to assess high school and college readiness.
- The state’s plan goes well beyond the minimal federal requirement to identify low-performing schools, and the state has shown an impressive commitment to significantly raising its expectations over time.
- Louisiana’s school-improvement model is easy to understand and is coupled with clear timelines and expectations for improvement, and the state’s willingness to take over schools and direct dramatic school-improvement efforts through its Recovery School District authority is another significant strength of Louisiana’s plan.
- There’s some concern that Louisiana does not do enough to flag schools with subgroups of students who are not well served by the school. It does not specifically include student subgroup scores in its statewide A-F grading system, and, although it will pick up a number of “targeted support” schools on the back end, there’s a risk that parents and educators will pay more attention to the overall grade than the targeted support flag.
- The state’s plan also may not adequately address schools with low-performing student groups that remain low performing over long periods of time, and its exit criteria for targeted support schools could allow schools to exit improvement status after only minor improvements in subgroup scores.
- The state could also add specificity on how it will respond to some of the challenges it identifies. For example, the state proposes to identify 43 percent of its schools as in need of “Urgent Intervention” for students with disabilities, but it does not articulate a detailed plan for how it will respond to that challenge.