Louisiana’s pre-K-12th grade education improves in national rankings

Published 3:12 pm Monday, May 13, 2024

Special to the American Press

Louisiana Pre-K-12 education improved in the latest U.S. News & World Report Best States rankings. Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education in Louisiana moved from 41st to 40th, which marks the state’s highest ranking in this national indicator. This comes a year after Louisiana Pre-K-12 education jumped five places in these same rankings.

“This positive growth reflects the efforts of students and teachers,” said Louisiana State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley. “While I’m encouraged, I also realize we have more work ahead to provide a high-quality education for every student.”

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Louisiana has benefitted from the state’s fundamental shift in how students are taught to read, a focus on foundational math skills, an emphasis on career and college readiness, and bold policy decisions that support a back to the basics approach to education.

“Louisiana’s steady climb in this ranking reflects the hard work of educators and their unwavering focus on positive outcomes for students,” said BESE President Ronnie Morris. “The consistent progress we’re seeing in measures of K-12 performance confirms that our state is on the right track, and underscores the productive partnership between educators, policymakers and stakeholders that has been essential to driving success. We must continue working together in support of the good work of students and schools to keep this momentum going.”

This is the latest data to show the continued progress of Louisiana students:

  • Louisiana is one of three states where average reading achievement in 2023 was above 2019 levels.
  • Louisiana ranked at the top of a national list recognizing states for adopting a comprehensive early literacy policy to provide students with the foundational reading skills to learn, graduate, and succeed.
  • Louisiana has exceeded its pre-pandemic school performance score following consecutive years of growth.
  • Louisiana high school students earned record achievements on Advanced Placement tests.
  • Louisiana’s 2023 senior class earned the first annual increase in average ACT since 2017, even as the national average dropped.
  • Louisiana students increased scores for the second consecutive year and 75% of school systems improved on the 2023 LEAP.
  • Louisiana’s 4th graders led the country in reading growth and the state’s overall ranking moved from 46th to 42nd among the states from 2019 to 2022 on NAEP.

The U.S. News & World Report Pre-K-12 ranking informs the Best States rankings. It 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.