Education

Every child should have access to a high-quality education, ensuring every Louisiana resident has a chance to succeed. Louisiana cannot have a bright economic future without a workforce equipped with the skills and training necessary to compete in a 21st century economy. Revamping Louisiana’s educational system stands as an economic imperative—and a moral one too.

Homeschool Resource For Louisiana Families

Homeschool Resource For Louisiana Families

The Pelican Institute’s Vision for Education: Every Louisiana family should be able to choose the school or educational environment that best fits the needs of their child. Families have multiple options, including public schools, public charter schools, private schools, and homeschooling. Pelican works to expand these and other opportunities for Louisiana families. We have partnered...

By Erin Bendily

Louisiana Schools Need Leadership, Not Lower Expectations

Louisiana Schools Need Leadership, Not Lower Expectations

Last week the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents–a network of public school superintendents from across the state–unveiled a ridiculous proposal to “strengthen” the state’s rating and accountability system for public schools. They hailed it as a more “fair” and “equitable” way of rating school performance. Yet, the proposal would actually set Louisiana’s education system back...

By Erin Bendily

Louisiana’s TANF Woes Are Connected to DCFS Concerns

Louisiana’s TANF Woes Are Connected to DCFS Concerns

Over the past few months, tragedies involving abused and neglected children and a “toxic” work environment at the state Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) have dominated Louisiana headlines. The Advocate reported that “crippling staff shortages, toxic work environments, and escalating caseloads are causing an exodus of Louisiana’s child welfare workers, and Louisiana legislators said that...

By Erin Bendily

All Schools In Louisiana Matter

All Schools In Louisiana Matter

Earlier this week, I read an article about the alarming decline in student achievement in public schools nationally since the COVID-19 pandemic. The article notes how frustration with failing schools (many were failing long before the pandemic) is leading more parents to transfer to private schools, home study, or other educational options. The article was...

By Erin Bendily

Pelican Institute Releases School Board Candidate Questions

Pelican Institute Releases School Board Candidate Questions

There is much work to be done to ensure that Louisiana’s kids are prepared for success and that our state economy grows. Roughly one-third of students in public schools are on grade level. Thousands graduate each year without the skills to get a great job or to enter college without needing remediation. We can and...

By Erin Bendily

How are federal COVID recovery dollars being used to reverse student learning loss?

How are federal COVID recovery dollars being used to reverse student learning loss?

A few weeks ago, we wrote about Louisiana public school students’ performance on the 2022 Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) test and what their scores tell us about learning loss since the COVID-19 pandemic. The takeaway was that, while results show improvement over the prior year, Louisiana remains far from being fully recovered. Only three...

By Erin Bendily

Are Louisiana Schools Preparing Kids for College and Careers?

Are Louisiana Schools Preparing Kids for College and Careers?

Louisiana’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) has been considering changes to the K-12 school accountability rating system, and as part of that process, has unearthed quite a bit of data showing how well public schools are preparing kids. They have shown data in three key areas: how schools help kids meet a basic...

By Erin Bendily

School Accountability Improvements Deferred, but Parents Want Change

School Accountability Improvements Deferred, but Parents Want Change

Earlier this week, the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) voted to approve just one piece of a proposal to revamp the Louisiana K-12 Education School and District Accountability System, which would have better aligned the rating system with the board’s stated goals of having students achieve Mastery (proficiency) on state tests and...

By Erin Bendily

Louisiana’s 2022 LEAP Scores: Some Improvement, But A Long Way to Go

Louisiana’s 2022 LEAP Scores: Some Improvement, But A Long Way to Go

The Louisiana Department of Education recently released public school students’ Louisiana Assessment of Educational Progress (LEAP) scores for the 2021-2022 school year. The tests measure student learning in English language arts (ELA), math, science, and social studies. Scores are reported in five achievement levels, ranging from Unsatisfactory (Level 1) to Advanced (Level 5). Mastery (Level...

By Erin Bendily

Basic Literacy & Numeracy Should be the Least We Expect From Our Public Schools

Basic Literacy & Numeracy Should be the Least We Expect From Our Public Schools

Last week at a meeting where local school superintendents were reviewing proposed new state K-12 education policies about high schools, there was an interesting discussion about what high schools should be expected to do to help kids who are academically struggling. The question came up after data showed that only 37 percent of Louisiana high...

By Erin Bendily

Making Sense of School Rankings and Ratings: Parents Just Want it Straight

Making Sense of School Rankings and Ratings: Parents Just Want it Straight

WalletHub just released another report in which it ranked Louisiana 49th in education. Around the same time, The Advocate reported that 70 percent of high schools in Louisiana are rated “A” or “B.” How can both of these things be true, and where can parents of school-age kids access information about school quality they can...

By Erin Bendily

Report Shows Louisiana Ranked Among Worst for Public Schools

Report Shows Louisiana Ranked Among Worst for Public Schools

A new Wallethub study reviewed the quality and safety of American public school systems and showed that Louisiana’s public school system ranks 49th overall. The study used quality as 80 percent of the score with safety making up the other 20 percent. To produce the rankings, researchers looked at high-school graduation rates, math and reading...

By Daniel J. Erspamer