BESE Newsroom

BESE confirms members of student standards review committees, approves new early childhood education policies

June 17, 2015

By a unanimous vote, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) confirmed today the 101 members and leadership nominated to serve on the Standards Review Committee and three content subcommittees tasked with evaluating the state’s academic content standards in English and math. The Board also approved a final timeline and process, which encompasses extensive public input, for the 2015-16 standards review. The committee and subcommittees will meet publicly during the fall of 2015 and throughout 2016 to review the standards, public comments, and student assessment results, with final recommended updates to the standards presented to BESE in March 2016.

The total committee membership is comprised of the following:

  • 57 school-based educators,
  • 24 school system leaders,
  • 5 representatives from institutions of higher education, and
  • 15 education and parental advocates.

At its April 2015 meeting, BESE approved a nomination process requesting that school districts and education organizations nominate qualified candidates for committee membership. The Louisiana Department of Education (LDE) proposed 92 candidates from the list of nominees based on academic, geographic, and demographic diversity. The nominees for each committee represent a cross-section of the state, including every school district that submitted nominees. To further ensure balance in the perspectives of committee members, BESE appointed 9 additional members representing the state’s six Congressional districts as well as three at-large members.

“The members of these committees represent school districts, organizations and regions throughout our state and bring a variety of perspectives and experience to the review process,” said Chas Roemer, BESE president. “Educator-led analysis coupled with broad opportunities for public input ensures a thorough review process, keeping our forward progress moving and Louisiana’s standards in step with the needs of its students.”

A Standards Committee consisting of 26 members will oversee the 2015-16 review, will meet on an annual or as-needed basis in subsequent years, and will be tasked with delivering final recommendations to BESE.

Ten of the Standards Committee members will also serve on one of three content subcommittees (K-2, 3-12 English Language Arts, and 3-12 math) during the 2015-16 review cycle. The content subcommittees, comprised of 29 members each, will review each set of standards in depth and propose a set of revised standards to the Standards Committee for consideration.

Committee leadership includes:

  • Regina Sanford, Standards Committee Chair Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, St. Tammany Parish School Board
  • Anne Smith, K-2 Content Subcommittee Chair Curriculum Director, Vernon Parish School Board
  • Laurie Carlton, 3-12 English Language Arts Content Subcommittee Chair Secondary Supervisor, Plaquemines Parish School Board
  • Charlotte Boothe, 3-12 Math Content Subcommittee Chair Middle School Curriculum Specialist, Rapides Parish School Board

A complete list of the confirmed members of the steering committee and content subcommittees is available here.

The Board also approved revisions to a previously approved timeline for the standards review in order to align with the provisions of
House Bill 373, recently passed during the 2015 Regular Legislative Session. The bill codifies the standards review plan authorized by the Board in April 2015, and provides for a review process beginning in July 2015 and concluding by March 2016.

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

Timeline specifics and additional details on the standards review process
are available here.

The Board also approved new policies related to early childhood care and education, strengthening provisions related to licensing and staffing requirements, and establishing new regulations related to the responsibilities and operation of the Louisiana Early Childhood Care and Education Network, a major component of the ongoing process to unify early childhood education.

The network, comprised of the local early childhood community networks throughout the state, will serve as the entity through which BESE manages and oversees publicly-funded early childhood care and education programs in Louisiana to promote and improve kindergarten readiness. The network will address three critical needs:

  • Ensure that there is one organization within each local community network to coordinate across programs such as child care, Head Start, and school-based Pre-K and define which organizations are responsible;
  • Set clear expectations for implementation of coordinated enrollment, as required by Act 717 of the 2014 Regular Legislative Session, and establish processes to ensure fairness and equity for providers and families;
  • Establish a unified quality and improvement system to evaluate the performance of publicly-funded early childhood care and education sites and community networks.

A “learning year” for the system will be in effect for 2015-16, for which practice performance profiles will be issued. While all publicly-funded early childhood programs will be required to participate, no funding or licensing consequences will be attached to the practice performance rating for 2015-16. After the learning year, the system will be evaluated by a workgroup of the Early Childhood Care and Education Advisory Council, which will provide recommendations to the Council and BESE regarding adjustments for 2016-17.

BESE also approved lead agencies to coordinate the enrollment and observation processes in each community network for the 2015-16 school year. The list of approved lead agencies
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.