Louisiana showed a dedication to learning that parents in other states are wishing their own school boards had exhibited during the COVID pandemic year.
While many states chose to hold classes remotely and keep kids isolated from their peers and teachers, Louisiana chose to keep children in school.
Louisiana’s Department of Education Superintendent Cade Brumley explained his approach in an interview with Fox News.
“We did not completely prevent learning loss, but certainly I feel like we weathered it better than other places,” he said. “There are several things that I believe matter for us. Number one is we prioritized face-to-face learning. I was super, super aggressive in my belief that… we could safely have our kids in school.”
Other state’s education departments are turning their focus to Louisiana as a national survey showed that the southern state outpaced the national average in standardized math and reading over the last two years.
Last week, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or the Nation’s Report Card, showed that math scores have declined more than they ever have in America.
Reading scores have also decreased by an amount that has not been seen here since 1992.
This was the first iteration of this test after the pandemic struck schools nationwide.
Louisiana managed to increase fourth grade reading by 2 points compared to 2019. This is much better than the national average, a loss of 3 points compared to 2019.
Louisiana earned the top spot for reading growth in America.
In fourth grade math, Louisiana outpaced the national aver by 5 points and only lost 2 points since 2019.
“We still have a long way to go in terms of outcomes in our state, but I think that this clearly shows that we weathered this storm and that we are committed to accelerating forward and that’s what we’re going to do,” said Brumley.
Brumley, who received massive criticism for his decision to keep children in in-person classes, is now seeing Louisiana reap the benefits of his commitment to childhood learning.
“Look, I made unpopular decisions. That’s the bottom line. I said kids are going to be in school every day. I said we’re going to end some of the unnecessary quarantining that was putting healthy kids out of school. And I faced tremendous backlash from that at so many levels. But had I not done those things? I don’t know what our results would look like today,” Brumley revealed.
“Kids belong to their parents, not the government, and we have to appreciate and honor that. And I want to be part of making sure that that is well understood across the state of Louisiana,” he concluded.
The brave stand Brumley took has paid massive dividends for his state, as it has become the model for how pandemic learning should have been undertaken.
After receiving hate and vitriol from people who believe he was wrong in his approach, Brumley remains jovial about his public image.
“I have jokingly said I am waiting for an editorial for all the critics just to come out and say, ‘Okay, Brumley was right,’” he said.
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