Louisiana’s education system has been making positive strides, as indicated by the latest state rankings from the U.S. News & World Report. This widely-cited report includes education as one of the components of its annual Best States rankings, which evaluates all 50 states. In the 2023 rankings, Louisiana has moved up five places for Pre-K-12 education, now ranking 41st, according to this news release from the Louisiana Department of Education.
Dr. Cade Brumley, the State Superintendent of Education, attributed this improvement to the unwavering commitment of educators and policymakers to enhance the quality of education in Louisiana. “In a state long-challenged with educational outcomes, this movement is welcome news; however, we have a long way to go and must keep pushing forward.”
This uptick in performance aligns with positive data released earlier this school year on “The Nation’s Report Card,” also known as the NAEP. In that report, Louisiana’s fourth graders ranked first in the country in reading growth. According to the U.S. News & World Report, from 2019 to 2023, Louisiana has made an overall improvement in its Pre-K-12 ranking by five spots, moving from 46th to 41st. Categorically, Louisiana has seen the following improvements among all of the states:
College readiness has improved by two places, from 42nd to 40th; High school graduation has improved by eight places, from 45th to 37th; Math scores have improved by six places, from 50th to 44th; Reading scores have improved by 10 places, from 48th to 38th; and Preschool enrollment has improved by six places, from 15th to 9th.
Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jenna Chiasson commented on the results by saying. “I commend the teachers of Louisiana who have shown such dedication to our students. They remained focused on academic excellence and these gains are the direct result of that relentless pursuit.”
These developments are a testament to the efforts of Louisiana’s educators and policymakers to improve the quality of education in the state. The progress is especially noteworthy considering the many challenges Louisiana’s educational system has faced in recent years. However, there is still work to be done to ensure that Louisiana’s students have access to high-quality education that prepares them for success in college and their future careers.
Through their Pre-K-12 rankings, the U.S. News & World Report evaluates a range of factors related to education in each state. These factors include college readiness, high school graduation rates, math and reading scores, and preschool enrollment. The rankings are based on a variety of sources, including the National Center for Education Statistics, the College Board, and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). In addition to these factors, the U.S. News & World Report also considers a state’s educational policies and funding.
The rankings take into account a state’s commitment to early childhood education, the availability of resources and support for teachers, and the state’s investment in education as a whole. By evaluating all of these factors, the U.S. News & World Report provides a comprehensive picture of how each state is performing in the area of Pre-K-12 education.
Other factors that have contributed to Louisiana’s improvement include: the state’s overall school performance score racing pre-pandemic levels; Louisiana students in grades 1-3 growing on the Fall Reading Report for a second consecutive year; Louisiana’s students earned the most significant year-over-year increase on state assessments since 2016, Louisiana’s students earned the most significant year-over-year increase on state assessments since 2016; and Louisiana’s 4th graders led the country in reading growth and the state’s overall ranking moved from 46th to 42nd among the states from 2019 to 2022 on NAEP.
In conclusion, the U.S. News & World Report rankings have played an essential role in evaluating the educational system’s progress in Louisiana and across the nation. The latest rankings indicate that Louisiana is moving in the right direction, and with continued efforts, the state’s educational system can achieve even greater heights.
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