Louisiana Schools Moving Past Other States as Scores Show Improvement in Reading, Math, and Graduation Rank
BATON ROUGE, La. (KPEL News) - The small wins are beginning to build into positive momentum for Louisiana schools as improved scores in reading, math, and graduation rank are taking the state up the ladder and further away from last place.
Over the last couple of years, Louisiana has begun to see the fruits of its labor as it continues to dig out of its near last place rankings in education (#48 according to usnews.com).
Louisiana Attains Number One National Ranking in Reading Category
One of the small wins that comes to mind is the number one national ranking that the state saw in 2022 for improvement in 4th grade reading scale scores and proficiency rates. Louisiana’s results outpaced national trends in all four National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) grades and subjects.
I want to thank our teachers for their efforts through the pandemic and multiple hurricanes,” said Louisiana Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley. “This is not a ‘jump for joy’ moment because we still want to get better; however, they show our strategy for academic recovery and acceleration is working...The progress our 4th graders made in reading is a testament to Louisiana’s educators for embracing our fundamental shift in how we teach students to read.
Louisiana has struggled for years with literacy and this is "a step in the right direction" as Louisiana school systems are developing their Louisiana Comeback plan.
Pay Raises & Providing Emotional Support Allowing Louisiana to Keep Its Teachers
Speaking of our teachers, various teacher pay raises over the last five years have increased the average teacher's salary in Louisiana to $52,000.00. Also, according to our news partners at Louisiana Radio Network, Louisiana Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley says the Louisiana Department of Education has worked to provide no-cost counseling service “for any teacher that might need some level of support, and I think too across our state we have tried to provide additional pay opportunities.”
Recently, a report being touted by the state Department of Education showed an apparent reversal in what many feared would be a growing outmigration of teachers either to the same positions out of state or to a career change.
- A 2% increase in the percentage of teachers choosing to stay in the profession over the last year. (84-86%)
- A 5% increase in first-year teacher retention (78-83%)
When you also factor in another 2% increase (67-69%) of certified teachers in the state, it's another small win for a state that needs to continue building momentum in the educational arena and Dr. Brumley is optimistic.
We’re really excited about those two numbers at the same time understanding that we still have a long way to go," said Dr. Brumley to LRN. "Teachers deserve high quality pay. They deserve leaders in their schools that they value and appreciate...and we’re going to keep pushing forward on doing the things it takes to make sure every kid has a high-quality teacher.
Louisiana Schools Jump Past Multiple States in Multiple Categories in Recent Rankings
Now, for the great news! In the latest state rankings for Pre-K - 12th grade education, data by U.S. News and World Report show Louisiana is moving on up!
- In Reading, the state showed drastic improvement jumping from 48th to 38th in the country.
- In Math, the state jumped from 50th to 44th in the country.
- In High School Graduation Rank (from 2019-2023), the state jumped from 45th to 37th in the country
- Overall, the state jumped from 46th to 41st in the country.
As Louisiana Radio Network points out, this is the most significant year-to-year increase on state assessments since 2016 as the state’s overall School Performance Score returned to its pre-pandemic level and Brumley is optimistic yet very aware that there is much work left to be done.
This is just another indicator that our educational system is improving. So we have a lot of great work taking place that our kids need and they deserve. We want to keep getting better because we certainly can’t be satisfied with where we are...We still have a long way to go.
Looks like another area that will be concentrated on is U.S. History and Civics as Brumley says "understanding history & civics is fundamental to our Republic."
LISTEN as Moon Griffon sits down with Dr. Brumley to discuss the results and what Louisiana continues to do to keep the momentum going.