BESE Approves Public School Grading Changes

Following nearly six hours of debate, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has voted 7-4 to approve school grading changes proposed by state school Superintendent John White.

The proposed changes will be presented to federal education officials next month over the objections of Governor Edwards and his appointees to the BESE board.  Edwards had said White's proposals lacked "vision" and "transparency."

Under the plan, yearly academic growth will count for 25% of a school's grade, not just 7%.  White has also proposed that testing be trimmed and that more federal funds be diverted to rural public schools that have received low performance scores.

Critics of the proposal included the Louisiana School Boards Association, the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents and two teachers unions.

The plan was supported by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, the Council for a Better Louisiana, and by the Louisiana Federation for Children.

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