Today, the Pelican Institute released a list of key beliefs the next state Superintendent of Education should possess in leading Louisiana’s education system.

On May 20, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) is expected to select the next superintendent from a slate of its top six candidates. After recently surveying Louisiana citizens in rural and suburban areas of the state, we developed the following list of beliefs for BESE’s consideration. Seeking a candidate with these qualities will ensure a bold and transformative leader is appointed to the top education post.

The ideal candidate for Superintendent of Education believes:

  • Every parent deserves the right to choose their child’s educational path, ensuring every student is in a school that best fits their needs.
  • High integrity and an organized plan will help us get through this current crisis and emerge out the other side stronger, more accountable, and better prepared for the future.
  • All families deserve an A-F accountability grading system that extends across all grade levels and provides honest and transparent insights into how schools are serving their children.
  • High school graduates deserve career pathways that will prepare and transition them into high-wage, high-demand careers.
  • Public-school funding should follow the child through education savings accounts (ESAs) or differentiated, student-centered funding which prioritizes each child’s learning and each family’s choice.
  • All students have access to high quality course choice options, regardless of where they live in the state.

Ethan Melancon, the Pelican’s education policy director, applauded the candidate search committee for its work and also underscored the impact the upcoming decision will have on recent and future educational improvements for Louisiana’s students.

“BESE leadership and working group members should be commended for their admirable job of running a transparent process amid the COVID-19 crisis,” said Melancon. “We believe it’s imperative that the next state superintendent have these qualities to continue driving innovation in our schools and build on the recent progress we have made in student outcomes. We stand committed to support BESE along the journey to ensure that every Louisiana student has a school that fits.”