Common Core: What’s Happening Now?
Yesterday, BESE voted to challenge Jindal on Common Core by joining a lawsuit filed by several parents and teachers from Orleans, Baton Rouge and Ascension parishes and the Choice Foundation charter group. This lawsuit claims that Jindal has overstepped constitutional boundaries in his fight with BESE over contracts and tests.
The governor responded by filing his own lawsuit against BESE, claiming the Memorandum of Understanding with PARCC (which he signed) is unconstitutional because, “it offends state sovereignty by attempting to improperly delegate the constitutional authority of BESE and the Legislature to a “consortium” of other states.”
Prior to these actions, over the last couple of weeks:
Governor Jindal met with Superintendent John White (nothing came of the meeting), and he rejected BESE’s compromise proposal for student testing through 2016 saying the proposal wasn’t consistent with the state’s procurement code. Lafayette’s The Advertiser called BESE’s proposal a “reasonable solution, offered in good faith.”
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The Public Affairs Research Council released an excellent summary of the pending crisis in student testing and school accountability and the role Governor Bobby Jindal has played in this state-manufactured crisis.
Leadership and Crisis in Education
In the fight over Common Core, Louisiana state government is
failing its citizens and the governor is chiefly responsible
Louisiana state government is failing its duty to provide leadership and accountability for public school education in the upcoming academic year. The situation has reached a crisis level with serious potential consequences for students, parents, teachers and all of us as stakeholders in the future of Louisiana. This was a crisis of choice and the clearest responsibility for it lies with the governor.
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News on High School Performance
New Orleans high school exam results, graduation rate near state average
Since Katrina, New Orleans has gone from having the worst public schools in the state to performing close to the state average on high school End of Course exams. Eighty-six percent of students passed their tests, and 61% met the higher bar of proficiency. The state averages were 88% passing and 62% proficient. And while New Orleans graduation rate dropped to 72.8%, it was close to the record high state average of 73.5%.
Record-high graduation rate, slight test-score increase reported for Louisiana high schools
Louisiana’s high school students saw gains in three key performance areas: End of Course exams, ACT scores and the 4-year cohort graduation rate.
Latest News on Common Core
After Governor Jindal issued his executive orders and suspended the Department of Education’s contract with its testing vendor to prevent Louisiana’s implementation of Common Core, the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) voted to hire outside legal counsel for guidance and a possible lawsuit against the governor.
BESE’s plan could be derailed, however, because they may need the governor’s approval to hire legal counsel. Any state agency, board or commission that hires outside lawyers must get written approval from the attorney general and the governor. In addition, the Jindal administration recently notified Superintendent John White that he could no longer approve contracts for more than $2,000.
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The state has released data on high school performance.
The Really Good News
New Orleans showed robust growth on the End of Course Tests (EOCs).
- New Orleans1 (OPSB & RSD) is 8th in improvement in the state, with 59% of students proficient (scoring Excellent or Good) compared to 52% in 2013.
- This is a jump of 7 percentage points; the state improved 3 points, from 59% to 62% proficient.
- Compared to the other 69 districts, New Orleans is now #37, up from #47 last year (up 11 spots).
- When we look at all New Orleans2, including Type 2 charters and NOCCA, 61% of students are proficient, just 1 point below the state average.
The state has been phasing in the EOCs by testing more subjects each year. This year, for the first time, all six subjects were tested: Algebra, Biology, English II, English III, Geometry and U.S. History. Since 2011, New Orleans has improved 14 points, while the state has improved 7 points.
Percent of Students (OPSB & RSD) Proficient
See below for EOC performance by school.
The Really Good News (part 2)
New Orleans students improved on the ACT
All students are now required to take the ACT. Many take it multiple times, and ACT uses their highest score.
- Looking at all New Orleans high schools, 50% of students scored an 18 or higher, up 6 points from 44% in 2013.
- Statewide, 59% of Louisiana students scored an 18 or higher, a 1 point gain from 2013.
- 18 is the score that ACT says is aligned with college success.
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