It’s not surprising Louisiana has high standards for K-12 education but low achievement: The state has recently made a basket of policy changes that will take several years to measure against students.
The Brookings Institution research showed several years ago that the quality of a state’s standards for curriculum and test had little relationship to student achievement. Some states with high standards have low student performance, like Louisiana, and others with low standards have high student performance.
What this really indicates is a national initiative where nearly all states adopted the same standards for math and English is not likely to improve education, despite all the Common Core public relations.
The biggest influences on student performance are first, family (whether parents read to kids, turn off TVs, model self-control and so forth); second, teachers; and third, curriculum.
And while standards create an outline for curriculum and teaching, they do not even come close to constituting it.
In short, Louisianians should wait a few years to see if the big changes it and many other states are making have a difference on what kids learn, and respond accordingly.
education research fellow, Heartland Institute
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