Last week, the Louisiana Department of Education released its annual Reading Report for children in kindergarten through third grade. The report revealed that older students are showing improvement, but younger children show a decline.
What’s the cause? Some think that “emergency” closures of schools and early learning centers coupled with mandatory masking delayed speech development and language acquisition.
Jeff Sadow writes: “The tail end of the cohort that caught the beginning of the pandemic restrictions in their crucial learning period are first graders today, while kindergartners are the first to bear the full brunt of restrictions. As it was, third graders scoring satisfactorily on reading were up 1.3 percent and second graders 1.9 percent, but first graders managed only a 0.6 percent gain in numbers and kindergartners dropped 2.3 percent.”
Public policy has consequences.
Speaking of Which: BESE to Consider Federalized “Early Learning Standards”
The state Department of Education is recommending to BESE that the public comment period be extended another 20 days, starting Dec. 15, after opponents requested just such an extension at a hearing last week.
State Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley, who has criticized the standards, said in a statement Monday the changes need more work. "My assumption is that our board will pass the early learning standards again as they did in August," Brumley said. "My position has been consistent in that I have concerns with the vague language, and I believe more time for revisions and adjustments could be considered," he said.
The standards written in overly broad terms, meaning implementation through curriculum and instructional materials is where problems are encountered. Parents and teachers from across America have raised legitimate concerns that groups like CASEL, Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, promote the need for instruction on gender identity and racism. Clearly, advocates of these harmful theories aren’t satisfied with elementary and secondary instruction – early childhood years are now being targeted.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) empowers educators to focus on "politicized" morals, values, and beliefs as opposed to academic achievement. Clearly, history has taught that the government's idea of these "constructs" are often in direct opposition to that of parents. The Louisiana Children’s Code recognizes that moral values and beliefs are the sole responsibility of parents to teach not that of state or federal government.
Concerned parents and members of the public have one more opportunity to weigh-in on this issue at the Academic Goals and Instructional Improvement Committee meeting beginning at 9:00 am Tuesday, December 13, 2022. The meeting will be held in the Claiborne Building,The Louisiana Purchase Room, at 1201 N. Third Street, Baton Rouge, 70802.