BESE Newsroom

BESE unanimously approves professional review process for Louisiana learning standards

April 15, 2015

The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) today approved a process to review the state’s academic content standards in English and math. The measure passed unanimously on motion of BESE District 3 member Dr. Lottie Beebe, seconded by at-large member Connie Bradford. Based on a committee structure led by professional Louisiana educators and encompassing extensive public input, the new review process will ensure that Louisiana’s standards represent the knowledge and skills students need to succeed.

“This plan represents a positive move to ensure that Louisiana’s academic standards adjust to the needs of our students and our state,” said Chas Roemer, BESE president. “It is an improved, responsive review process, one that provides a structure for addressing emerging issues and allows for the incorporation of any and all necessary changes, in a timely fashion.”

Previous BESE policy required that the state’s academic standards be reviewed by Louisiana educators every seven years. At its March 2015 meeting, the Board accelerated the next scheduled review of state academic content standards in English and math by one year and directed the Louisiana Department of Education to submit a standards review process for consideration at the April BESE meetings.

“The process will be driven by Louisiana educators and content experts,” said Roemer. The goal is to improve current standards where necessary instead of rewriting learning expectations, providing consistency for the students and teachers who have invested five years of work in the current transition. Louisiana is on the right track – the new review process simply helps ensure that our progress continues.”

The public will have the opportunity to review and provide input on every standard, and all related meetings will be open to the public.

An ongoing Standards Committee selected by BESE will oversee the 2015-16 review and will meet on an annual or as-needed basis in subsequent years. The committee is responsible for bringing recommendations to BESE, and is empowered to do so at any time. BESE has full authority to make any adjustments to the standards as recommended by the committee, or as determined by the Board in order to ensure student success and compliance with the law.

At least half of the 26-member Standards Committee will be comprised of current Louisiana, district and school-based educators. Many of these members will also sit on one of three content subcommittees (K-2 content, 3-12 English Language Arts content, and 3-12 math content) during the 2015-16 review cycle. The content subcommittees will review each set of standards in depth and propose revisions to the Standards Committee for consideration. Current district and school-based educators will account for 75 percent of each 26-member content subcommittee.

School districts and organizations will nominate qualified candidates for committee membership. Nomination forms will be released on April 21, 2015, with nominations due by May 8, 2015. Per the request of the Board, nomination forms will be posted to the LDE website for public review no later than May 25, 2015. BESE will consider all eligible nominees, factoring in considerations to ensure geographic, racial and gender diversity on the committees, and will make final selections at its June 17, 2015, meeting.

In the summer of 2015, a two-month public comment period on the standards will be conducted. Members of the public will have the opportunity to review each individual standard online and share their feedback. The Southern Regional Education Board, a non-biased third party, will review the public comments and deliver a report to the review committees.

The Standards Committee and content subcommittees will meet publicly during the fall of 2015 and throughout 2016 to review public comments and student assessment results, and final recommended updates to the standards will be presented to BESE in December 2016. Also per the Board’s directive today, in the event that any law amended or enacted during the 2015 Louisiana Regular Legislative Session addresses the state’s academic content standards, BESE will take necessary actions to ensure that the standards review process and related recommendations align to such laws.

Additional information on the standards review process, including committee qualifications, nomination process and process timeframe is available here.

Kevin Calbert, Communications Manager
(225) 342-5847  |

BESE is the administrative policymaking body for elementary and secondary schools in Louisiana. The Board sets key education initiatives and works to outline an education agenda to achieve continuous improvement of public education as measured by student and school achievement.