BESE News - May 2024

May 16, 2024, 08:22 AM by BESE Admin

In this issue:

  • BESE to consider revisions to statewide accountability system
  • Louisiana moves up again in latest U.S. News & World Report PK-12 ranking
  • BESE boosts accountability value of work-based learning programs
  • Latest BESE policy updates
  • Artificial Intelligence in K-12 education: state/regional strategy development underway
  • BESE Executive Director announces retirement
  • Upcoming BESE and LDOE meetings
  • BESE member spotlight – Paul Hollis
  • Did you know?
  • Connect with BESE

BESE to consider revisions to statewide accountability system

At its April 2024 meeting, BESE directed the Louisiana Department of Education to present specific recommendations to revise Louisiana’s current K-12 School Accountability System at the June BESE meeting. The LDOE policy recommendations were to include the following:

  • The College and Career Readiness definition shall strongly influence the model;
  • Methodology and weighting for both absolute performance and student growth shall be included;
  • Efforts to simplify the system shall strongly influence the new formula;
  • Increased rigor and transparency are paramount;
  • Advanced feedback shall be received at a meeting of both the Superintendent's Advisory Council and the Accountability Council, and further, the LDOE shall issue a general survey to the public to collect feedback online; and
  • Appropriate timelines for implementation shall be provided, given special consideration for any high school scheduling adjustments.

The LDOE presented its “Grow-Achieve-Thrive” accountability proposal at the May 6 Accountability Council meeting and received the endorsement of that group. The new plan offers a simplification of the accountability formula, aligning with the state’s refined definition of college and career readiness, introducing a 100-point scale and rewarding schools for gains in student academic growth as well as performance. The proposal emphasizes on-time graduation and increases the value of work-based learning experiences such as apprenticeships and internships. An overview of the LDOE accountability proposal as presented to the Accountability Council is available here.

The plan will also receive a hearing at the Superintendents’ Advisory Council meeting on June 6. BESE will consider final adoption of the policy revisions at its June 11-12 meetings.

Louisiana moves up again in latest U.S. News & World Report PK-12 ranking

In the latest U.S. News & World Report Pre-K-12 education state rankings, Louisiana moved from 41st to 40th, the state’s highest-ever position in this ranking. The steady climb from 46th in 2019 reflects the hard work of students and educators and the influence of the state’s emphasis on foundational skills development and career and college readiness.

“The consistent progress we’re seeing in measures of K-12 performance confirms that our state is on the right track, and underscores the productive partnership between educators, policymakers and stakeholders that has been essential to driving success,” said BESE President Ronnie Morris. “We must continue working together in support of the good work of students and schools to keep this momentum going.”

The U.S. News & World Report Pre-K-12 ranking informs the Best States rankings. It measures state performance across the life cycle of a young person’s education, encompassing preschool enrollment, standardized test scores among eighth-graders, high school graduation rate and college readiness. For more information, see the LDOE news release here.

BESE boosts accountability value of work-based learning programs

At its April meetings, BESE approved policy that expands the definition of work-based learning initiatives and increases the point values of work-based learning experiences such as internships and apprenticeships within the state’s existing K-12 accountability system.

Work-based learning (WBL) provides opportunities for career and technical education (CTE) students to receive on-the-job training and related classroom instruction in all CTE program areas, and helps students develop job skills, identify career interests and goals, and gain experience in real-world work environments. Types of WBL experiences outlined in policy will now include cooperative education, paid internships, and structured on-the-job training as part of a paid Registered Apprenticeship recognized by the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

Two policy changes were approved by BESE. The first pertains to the valuation of internships and apprenticeships within the state’s current school and district accountability system. Beginning with School Performance Scores in 2026, students completing an internship and WBL experience as defined in BESE policy will earn an additional 5 points, up to a maximum of 160 points. Additionally, students completing a Fast Forward-aligned apprenticeship will earn the same number of points as students who have earned an associate’s degree.

The second policy revision expands the definition of work-based learning experiences to include structured on-the-job training as part of a Registered Apprenticeship, requires compensation for students participating in internships, outlines WBL teacher certification requirements, and clarifies required classroom experience and job training components. BESE-defined WBL experiences will be comprised of 20% classroom time in developing “soft skills” such as financial literacy and workplace communications, and 80% of instructional time dedicated to on-the-job training.

For more details regarding the valuation of WBL in the current state accountability system, see the policy revisions approved by BESE here. For more details regarding updates to the definition of work based learning programs and related requirements, see the policy revisions approved by BESE here.

Latest BESE policy updates

Revisions to state education policy approved by BESE at its April meetings include:

  • Bulletin 111 – The Louisiana School, District, and State Accountability System
    • Adjusts the point values for both work-based student internships and apprenticeships within the existing school and system accountability formula. Full details >
  • Bulletin 126 – Charter Schools
    • Establishes a continuous charter application cycle to increase accessibility and flexibility for potential charter applicants. Full details >
  • Bulletin 135 – Health and Safety
    • Allows for an exemption to the medication administration policy for emergency medications. Full details >
  • Bulletin 741 – Louisiana Handbook for School Administrators
    • Expands the definition of work-based learning (WBL) to include experiences such as Registered Apprenticeships, outlines related requirements of teacher certification, and clarifies the required WBL classroom experience and on-the-job training components. Full details >
  • Bulletin 746 – Louisiana Standards for State Certification of School Personnel
    • Permits a school system-based mentor for post-baccalaureate candidates, and allows for a mentor teacher waiver process administered by the LDOE on a yearly cycle based on data and granted on an individual basis according to need. Full details >
  • Bulletin 1903 – Louisiana Handbook for Students with Dyslexia
    • Aligns BESE policy with the provisions of Act 266 of the 2023 Regular Legislative Session regarding dyslexia screening, appraisals, and program criteria. Full details >

Policy revisions approved by BESE are submitted to the Louisiana Register for public notification and comment as part of the state’s Notice of Intent (NOI) process. Current BESE NOIs may be tracked here >

Artificial Intelligence in K-12 education: state/regional strategy development underway

The LDOE’s AI Task Force met in February, April, and May to assist in the development of statewide guidance for school systems regarding the safe, ethical, and effective use of artificial intelligence in schools. At the May meeting, the LDOE’s draft guidance document received the endorsement of the Task Force. The guidance: defines AI, its appropriate use and how it impacts education; establishes a framework for AI integration; outlines technical considerations (e.g. hardware/software, data access, cybersecurity); identifies relevant laws and policies (e.g. transparency in educational practices, student privacy laws, BESE policy); and outlines appropriate training and support solutions.

The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) has convened its Commission on Artificial Intelligence in Education, bringing together over 60 education leaders, policymakers, and business executives from throughout the South to chart a course for how AI is used in K-12 and postsecondary classrooms, and how to prepare a workforce that is being transformed by technology. The group held its first meeting on May 1 and began identifying potential tasks for AI, policy considerations, future career options, and the skills necessary to prepare educators and students for the implementation of AI in the education space. BESE President Ronnie Morris, Rep. Jason Hughes, and Board of Regents Deputy Commissioner Tristan Denley represent Louisiana on the Commission. More information and SREB post-meeting news conference recording here >

BESE Executive Director announces retirement

BESE Executive Director Shan Davis announced her retirement on April 22, 2024. She was appointed Executive Director in December 2014, having previously served as BESE's Education Administrator. We thank Shan for her 15 years of service to the Board and commitment to K-12 education in Louisiana, and wish her all the best in retirement and her future endeavors.

BESE 8(g) Director Kimberly Tripeaux is currently serving as Interim Executive Director, and the process of filling the position on a permanent basis is moving forward. The role of the Executive Director is to manage the operations of BESE and assist the Board in discharging its constitutional and statutory duties. Please contact BESE President Ronnie Morris at for additional information. The vacancy for the Executive Director position has been posted, will remain open until noon on May 20, and may be viewed here.

Upcoming BESE and LDOE meetings

May 17 – Early Childhood care and Education Commission Task Force

May 31 – Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Public Hearing

June 3 – English Learner Task Force

June 5 – Agricultural Education Commission

June 6 – Superintendents’ Advisory Council

June 7 – Computer Science Content Standards Writing Committee

June 10 – Early Childhood Care and Education Commission

June 11 – BESE Committees

June 12 – Joint BESE-Board of Regents Meeting

June 12 – BESE Meeting

Meeting dates are subject to change. For the latest scheduling information, agendas, and video streaming links, visit

BESE member spotlight – Paul Hollis

BESE District 1 Member Paul Hollis was born and raised in Louisiana and has attended public schools from pre-kindergarten through High School. He graduated from LSU with a degree in Political Science in 1994.

From 2012 to 2024, Mr. Hollis served the State of Louisiana as a member of the House of Representatives and served on the Education, Commerce, Insurance, and Retirement Committees during his tenure as a state legislator. Most recently, he was awarded "Legislator of the Year" by the Louisiana State Police for his work during the 2023 legislative session.

Mr. Hollis has been an avid coin collector for over 40 years and today he is a nationally recognized expert in rare coins and precious metals. He has been a board member of the Industry Council for Tangible Assets, is an award-winning author of "American Numismatist", and has written several books and articles that have been published in national magazines and journals.

Mr. Hollis resides in Mandeville with his wife, Ashley.  They have two children, Bree (age 20) and Zachary (age 10) and are members of St. Timothy Methodist Church.

Learn more about BESE Members here >

Did you know?

  • Similar to the state legislature, BESE operates within a committee structure. In order to handle the issues within its vast range of responsibilities, Board members are divided into separate committees, with each committee considering issues related to a specific subject area. Committees typically meet during the first day of BESE meetings and pass recommendations for consideration by the entire Board on the second day. Learn more about BESE’s current committees here >

  • The “8(g)” amendment to the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act gives coastal states a “fair and equitable” share of the money made from offshore development. In 1986, Louisiana voters established a trust fund for education with the state’s share of 8(g) revenues, the Louisiana Education Quality Trust Fund. Interest gained from the fund is allocated annually for education purposes and administered by BESE through its 8(g) Grant program. Since the program’s inception, BESE has allocated over $1.39 billion in 8(g) dollars to schools and educational institutions, funding over 9,680 projects throughout the state. Learn more about BESE 8(g) here >

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