We Need Higher Standards
To Geaux Higher and reach their full potential, our students need standards that require more critical thinking and in-depth content knowledge — and the new Louisiana Student Standards will do just that. It’s time to ensure that our kids have the skills they need to compete and thrive after graduating by supporting our students and schools as they transition to the new Louisiana Student Standards.
Over the past two decades, Louisiana has strategically and consistently elevated the educational standards and benchmarks that define proficiency and success — and students, teachers, and schools have met and, in may cases, exceeded these expectations. More Louisiana students are on grade level, graduating from high school, passing Advanced Placement tests, achieving college-ready scores on the ACT and are prepared for careers once they graduate. But, more still needs to be done. The future success of our students relies on higher standards today. Let’s Geaux Higher!
Higher Standards to Improve Our Future
While our students continue to improve, they are still under-performing on rigorous state-by- state comparison tests. The most recent results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), an assessment given nationally every two years to students in 4th, 8th and 12th grades, revealed that only 23% of Louisiana’s fourth grade students were reading at a level of proficient or higher, while the national average was 34%. Similar results were seen on the mathematics portion of the assessment and for other grade levels.
Since 1992, the percent of Louisiana students reading at a level of proficient or higher has increased from 15% to 23%; however, the increased student achievement has plateaued. The 2013 NAEP results were not significantly different from the 2011 results. We must continue to push the bar higher for our students to continue seeing greater student achievement.
The groundwork is already in place. The critical thinking and in-depth knowledge required by the Louisiana Student Standards will prepare our students for college and the workforce. The need for remediation in college will be reduced, resulting in lower costs for higher education. Louisiana businesses will be able to hire well-qualified employees from our own highly skilled workforce, rather than seeking out-of-state applicants. Our students must Geaux Higher to be prepared for the challenges of Louisiana’s 21st century economy.
Higher Standards to Drive Our Economy
Louisiana has a dynamic and changing economy, that now more than ever, is demanding higher levels of education and job skills from our citizens. Most jobs now require some level of education beyond high school, primarily a four year college or two year technical and community college degree. According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2014, only 28.4% of the Louisiana population had an associate’s, bachelor’s or graduate degree. To meet the future job needs of the state, that number must double. More rigorous standards in public education will help our state develop the qualified professional and highly-skilled workforce we need to drive our economy.