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Louisiana Releases New Education Plan

Fewer standardized tests and more arts and foreign language. Those are just some of the changes in a draft education plan the state released this week.

Like many states, Louisiana is changing education priorities because now it can. Last year President Obama signed a new education bill into law, replacing No Child Left Behind with the Every Student Succeeds Act. The new law still requires schools to demonstrate how well - or poorly - they're doing. But now states decide how to evaluate and improve schools, rather than the federal government.

Louisiana plans to evaluate schools based partly on students' academic growth. Vincent Rossmeier of the Cowen Institute at Tulane University explains. "Instead of just saying this school gets a C or a D," because most of its students earned low test scores, "we're saying if students are coming in three or four years behind grade level in terms of reading, but they've already made two or three years of advancement, the school should get credit for that."

The draft also includes plans to better identify student needs, reduce discipline rates and bolster teacher training. The state is currently seeking public feedback on its plan, which will go into effect next year.

Support for WWNO's Education Desk comes from Entergy Corporation.

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