BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Public school systems across Louisiana may be in line for a change.
The possible adjustment is the result of the state’s literacy crisis, which education leaders say they’re poised to solve with a direct approach.
In referring to his initiative on literacy, State Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley said, “I’m not going to back down.”
Brumley explained that he’s tackling literacy gaps among elementary students with a new proposal.
He described his proposal by saying, “If a student in grades kindergarten, first, second, third, or fourth isn’t reading on grade level by the end of the school year, they would participate in 30 additional hours of support over the summer.”
But this mandatory summer school has sparked criticism on social media.
According to Brumley, it seems a viable option when taken into consideration the significant number of students who’ve fallen behind due to hurricanes and pandemic-related problems.
“It was a year of starts and stops and interruptions…virtual face to face, virtual starts and stops,” he said. “We have to be laser focused on the current third and fourth graders across the state because of the unprecedented disruptions they have faced the last two years.”
Brumley said less than half of Louisiana’s fourth graders are reading on grade level and then added, “A child that’s not reading on grade level by the end of third grade and certainly by the end of fourth grade, is at a much greater risk to be a dropout.”
During the 30 hours of the proposed summer school, children would meet in small groups with a curriculum that’s been outlined by the state.
Brumley said, “We’re training all K-3 teachers across the state right now… high quality back to the basics approaches around phonics… small groups. And then making sure that at the beginning, we know where they are and at the end, we know where we are. So that as they step into that next school year, the school can have as much real time data as possible.”
Brumley’s proposal will be presented at the next BESE meeting, on October 11th.
If approved, it will go into effect during the summer of 2023.