Dept. of Education proposing a plan to curb the literacy crisis in K-4 students
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The numbers may be trending upward. 2022 LEAP scores show signs of improvement and promise of a possible rebound. Students in K-4th grade are still testing significantly behind the average literacy rates.
According to parents and educators, this has become a crisis. State Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley says this is not a new problem, the pandemic just made it worse.
“It is a crisis we have faced for a long time, but unfortunately over essentially a decade, we’ve flatlined,” said Dr. Brumley.
The department is reportedly proposing a plan to try and catch students up. Officials say any students between grades kindergarten and 4th grade not on the correct reading level at the end of the year will need to complete an additional 30 hours of learning over the summer before they can advance.
“At this point, we are taking feedback on that proposal. I’m sure there will be modest revisions to that proposal moving forward,” Dr. Brumley added.
Dr. Brumley says the Department of Education is looking to other states with similar issues, such as Mississippi.
“They put in place legislative initiatives, state agency initiatives and they’re the only state in the union who’s been able to grow their literacy rates over the last decade,” Dr. Brumley explained.
According to officials, State Rep. Richard Nelson presented similar legislation last session. Third graders who do not read at grade level would be given several chances over the summer. His bill failed by a slim margin, but it is likely to make a return for a second shot next year.
“I do know that it was one of the pieces of legislation in Mississippi that they credit with some of their results. So, I think it would be foolish not to explore it as an option here in Louisiana,” Dr. Brumley said in response to whether or not it would be something he would support.
The official proposal they are offering will reportedly be presented at the next BESE board meeting for further discussions.
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