Louisiana Superintendents Could Soon be Graded on Student Math, English Scores

House Bill 112 was authored by Representative John Wyble.

This is a photo of an elementary student taking a test.

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Superintendents of Louisiana public school districts would be evaluated based on their students’ math and English test scores based on proposed legislation a committee advanced Wednesday.

Rep. John Wyble, R-Franklinton, authored House Bill 112 that would require all superintendent contracts to include performance evaluations based on the English and math scores for K-3 students, along with other student growth factors.

Superintendents are evaluated by their own school boards. Wyble’s bill would affect new contracts and those renewed after Aug. 1.

“It’s really important that we continue to focus that investment but also bring in some accountability with it so that we know that our local school districts are moving in that positive direction,” Wyble said.

The investment Wyble referenced is a policy change made last year. Former Rep. Richard Nelson, R-Mandeville, who now leads the state revenue department, gained approval for a measure to hold back students in the third grade if they did not reach the age-appropriate reading level. It goes into effect for the 2024-25 school year.

Additional advances in English education practices have made Louisiana one of three states to reach pre-pandemic levels in reading assessments.

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) will be part of the superintendent assessment process. According to Wyble, board members will help create the standards and formula for incorporating math and English scores into the superintendent’s annual review.

His bill calls for math and English scores to account for at least one-third of the evaluation. Currently, superintendents are only mandated to reach performance targets if their school district receives a C, D or F grade.

Rep. Josh Carlson, R-Lafayette, supports the bill.

“Yes, school districts can put in their own requirements for the superintendents, but we haven’t, not widespread,” Carlson said. “And up until recently, we were one of the last states in the nation for education.”

The state also needs to start putting the same emphasis on math and numeracy that it has on literacy in recent years, Carlson added.

The Louisiana Association of Superintendents opposes Wyble’s bill because its members want to make the math and English performance evaluations optional for school districts.

Louisiana Illuminator is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Louisiana Illuminator maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Greg LaRose for questions: info@lailluminator.com. Follow Louisiana Illuminator on Facebook and Twitter.

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