Louisiana Pre-K-12 education rises in national rankings

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Published: May. 8, 2023 at 7:38 AM CDT|Updated: May. 9, 2023 at 9:55 AM CDT
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Baton Rouge, LA (KPLC) - The Louisiana Department of Education has announced that Louisiana has moved up the national rankings for Pre-K through 12 education in 2023, according to two widely-referenced reports.

The statistics come from the U.S. News & World Report where Louisiana moved up five places as well as data from earlier this year in The Nation’s Report Card which showed similar improvement for the state’s education outcomes.

We spoke to State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley who says the improvements are a reflection of renewed efforts to combat both historical education problems in the state as well as the challenges presented by the COVID pandemic.

“We have a number of challenges in our state that we have historically faced, we still face many of those challenges. First and foremost, there’s nothing more important to a child’s success, other than a parent or guardian that is supportive and a high-quality teacher for every kid,” says Dr. Brumley. “These positive gains reflect the unwavering commitment educators and policy makers have to improving the quality of education in Louisiana.”

Currently, U.S. News & World Report lists Louisiana as having improved to 41st place overall from its previous ranking of 46th in 2019. The report measures state performance across the life cycle of a young person’s education, encompassing preschool enrollment, standardized test scores among eighth-graders, high school graduation rate, and college readiness.

Earlier in 2023, The Nation’s Report Card also showed Louisiana moving up from 46th place overall in 2019 to 42nd place.

Dr. Brumley says the Department of Education has no plans to stop here though, “In a state long-challenged with educational outcomes, this movement is welcome news; however, we have a long way to go and must keep pushing forward.”

According to the report, made the following notable improvements:

Dr. Brumely says while they’ve made strides in raising math scores, there’s still room for improvement there and in other areas, “I think we have to go back to teaching the basics on teaching kids how to read soon. We have to press in on foundational math skills. So a lot of good movement we’re excited about it but we know that we’re poised to further accelerate or even get better.”

Top 10 states for Pre-k through 12 education

1. New Jersey

2. Massachusetts

3. Connecticut

4. Vermont

5. Illinois

6. New Hampshire

7. Indiana

8. New York

9. Utah

10. Wisconsin

Bottom 10 states for Pre-k through 12 education

41. Louisiana

42. Oregon

43. Alabama

44. Mississippi

45. West Virginia

46. Nevada

47. Alaska

48. Arizona

49. Oklahoma

50. New Mexico