Louisiana Governor in Feud with Lawmakers Over Education Policy
SHREVEPORT, LA – The battle over high school graduation requirements in Louisiana will now move to 2024 as a new Governor and a new legislature take over.
In the latest salvo in this debate, Governor John Bel Edwards has rejected a committee plan to deny the appeals process for high school seniors who don’t pass the graduate exit exam.
BESE approve the appeals process on a 6-5 vote earlier this year. But this change has come under fire from top Republican leaders including U.S. Senator John Kennedy who says this waters down the diplomas earned by our students. State Education Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley also opposes the appeals process.
The House Education Committee has also voted 8-3 to reverse this policy.
But Governor John Bel Edwards has just announced he will not change course. This means the appeals process for students will stay in place. But this sets the stage for a legislative push next year to reverse this policy.
The Illuminator reports those who support this appeals process say the test penalizes students who have the grades to graduate, but don’t make the grade on the test.
But Governor Edwards sent a letter to Education Chairman Lance Harris of Alexandria calling the committee action “unacceptable.”
Education research illustrates that Louisiana’s current policy of denying students a diploma based on the results of a standardized test does not reflect best practices. This proposed rule brings Louisiana in line with national norms and research. While standardized tests can be useful, this proposed rule will provide teachers with greater ability to meet the needs of individual students.
During the Education Committee vote, Shreveport Representative Tammy Phelps was one of only 3 members who voted to keep the appeals process in place for students.
Northwest Louisiana BESE Member Michael Melerine voted against the change when it came before BESE.
State Superintendent Cade Brumley says we should not be watering down our graduation requirements. Instead, he says we should look at even tougher requirements for our students.
Jeff Landry takes over as Governor on January 8 and he is expected to work with lawmakers to reverse this policy.