Louisiana Superintendent of Education speaks at Republican Women of Bossier meeting

By Stacey Tinsley, Bossier Press-Tribune

On Tuesday, September 27, the The Republican Women of Bossier hosted Louisiana Superintendent of Education, Dr. Cade Brumley, as the speaker for their monthly meeting. The club asked Dr. Brumley to discuss matters regarding the state of education in Louisiana.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Brumley discussed 2022 LEAP scores and how students in K-4th grade are still testing significantly behind the average literacy rates.

“We have flatlined. This is a crisis we have faced for a very long time,” said Dr. Brumley.

In order to combat this issue, a plan has been proposed in an attempt to bring Louisiana students up to the national average..

“Students between kindergarten and 4th grade who are 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,” said Dr. Brumley.

The official proposal will be presented at the next BESE board meeting for further discussions.

Dr. Brumley went on to thank our local legislators for recognizing the issues children face with literacy and for proposing legislation to help fight this issue.

“Thank you to Senator Mills and all of our other legislators for proposing legislative initiatives to help combat literacy for our children here in Louisiana,” said Dr. Brumley.

During the 2021 Legislative Session, Louisiana State Sen. Robert Mills (R-Minden) sponsored SB 216, which put into place requirements for kindergarten through third-grade teachers, as well as administrators at the school, to complete a foundational literacy skills instruction course. The bill, which was signed into law by Governor John Bel Edwards, also put requirements in place for teachers and newly hired teachers to complete professional development courses based on the science of reading.

Louisiana ranks 49th in the nation in terms of literacy (with only 1 out of every 4 fourth graders reading proficiently, according to the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)). This pilot program is widely regarded as an important first step toward implementing comprehensive reforms modeled after the state of Mississippi, which currently leads the nation in student growth for literacy.

In January 2020, the Early Literacy Commission released a report containing recommendations that urged the legislature to commit recurring funding specifically for literacy. The Early Literacy Commission was legislatively created in 2019, led by the efforts of the Center for Literacy & Learning in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Education.

The Republican Women of Bossier is a group of active Republican women who want to be informed and involved in the political process. While their focus is largely political, they offer an element of community service by providing an annual scholarship to encourage young women in politics. The group also actively supports law enforcement and the military.

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