• Swamp Watch

Education Swamp Silent on Student Decline

While Some Celebrated Louisiana's Improvement in 4th Grade Reading, Decline Shown In All Other Key Metrics

This week, the US Department of Education released its annual National Assessment of Educational Progress (NEAP) report, aka The Nation's Report Card- the first report since schools were closed during the pandemic.

While state leaders were quick to point out one positive metric- Louisiana's 4th grade reading scores improved more than any other in the nation, the rest of the report contains bad signs for Louisiana's students.

In key metrics like 4th and 8th grade math, Louisiana students showed significant decline, falling by 3 and 6 points, respectively. 8th grade reading also showed decline.

While some celebrated that Louisiana declined less than other states, and improved from 49th to 43rd overall, it's important to note that these results mean Louisiana students are still struggling with learning loss from the pandemic- and are falling behind, and there's little to celebrate in that.

Perhaps that is why Louisiana's education swamp leaders, who have spent years fighting to shield the public from data showing just how much they've failed students, has been conspicuously silent on these results. None of the major education swamp groups have commented on the NEAP Results- including the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents and the Louisiana School Boards Association.

While they are very vocal in fighting against higher standards for Louisiana schools, they've been silent on the results coming out this week- not wanting to highlight just how much they've failed Louisiana students. Those who have commented, like St. Helena Parish Superintendent Kelli Joseph, a vocal leader in LASS, have celebrated the results, tweeting "This is great news about our public education system!"

Typically, results showing student achievement declining is not celebrated as great news, but we should not be surprised to see a Superintendent who has lead the state's worst-performing school district for 11 years and has a long history of making excuses and fighting higher standards, try to spin this as a positive for the education swamp.

As school districts continue to sit on billions in unspent COVID relief dollars, those funds should be focused on turning these results around and making sure Louisiana students don't see further decline in achievement.

You can read all of our past stories on Louisiana's education swamp here.

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