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Louisiana: Education Laboratory
Louisiana Reformers off to a Rough Start

In the world of education reform, Louisiana is a model student. Numerous high rankings on education reform assessments show that Louisiana has made nearly all of the changes school reformers have recommend. As a result, reform groups have a big stake in Louisiana’s success.

The early results, unfortunately, are not necessarily encouraging. A new report from the Annie E. Casey foundation has found that 77 percent of the state’s fourth graders were still reading below proficiency. Only Mississippi did worse.

This isn’t to say there hasn’t been improvement. Indeed the snapshot of where Louisiana is right now isn’t great, but the state has managed to improve its numbers somewhat over the past decade. In 2003, just more than half of fourth graders were reading below grade level. Last year that fell to 44 percent. Unfortunately, the United States overall improved by about the same margin.

4th_grade_reading_levelsFortunately for Louisiana, its reforms are still young, and there is still time for them to close this gap. But if it doesn’t start soon, the critics of reform will have a field day.

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  • johngbarker

    Welcome to

  • Andrew Allison

    Um, at a rough glance, the Louisiana levels are improving at about twice the rate of the US a a whole.

    • Tom

      Even better, if you look at the data set between 2009 and 2013–that is, starting when Bobby Jindal was able to start dealing with the utter mess left him by Kathleen Blanco, she who helped cause the New Orleans catastrophe. A plunge from nearly 50% below basic to 44% vs. 34% down to 33% is nothing to sneeze at.
      Via Meadia should commence to flogging the interns until morale and analysis improve.

      • Andrew Allison

        It’s clear there’s insufficient flogging, but I doubt remedying this will do much for moral ;<)} On a more serious note, it is distressing to see such careless posts.

  • Kevin

    The problem with education reform is that we measure inputs and not outputs.

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