Without giving any details, Gov. John Bel Edwards and state Superintendent of Education John White said Tuesday they had a cordial meeting on how to revamp public schools but no final decisions were made.
The gathering at the Governor's Mansion also included Gary Jones, the new president of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
“I’m pleased to have met with state Education Superintendent John White and BESE President Gary Jones today in what was the first of many steps toward developing an education plan that will help our public school students achieve academic success,” Edwards said in a statement released by his office.
“Every child deserves the opportunity to receive a quality education," he said. Our children are counting on us, and we must get this right. I am committed to continuing our dialogue and will have a follow up meeting with him this week to address this important issue.”
White, in an interview, made similar comments.
"I think there is a lot of dialogue to be had," he said after the gathering.
Gov. John Bel Edwards questioned the value of public school letter grades, criticized how te…
The get together stems from how the state plans to redo public schools to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.
White favors submitting the plan to the U.S. Department of Education for review in April. The governor favors September.
White wants to continue annual state-mandated exams in science and other subjects for students in grades three through eight.
Edwards and a task force he named favors major reductions, and just two years of state science testing.
A panel named by Gov. John Bel Edwards recommended major changes in public school policies T…
The pair also disagree on how to spend federal dollars, including aid for rural, high-poverty school districts.
All three topics were discussed at the meeting.
"We agreed we would keep the dialogue going," said White, who often differs with the governor on public school policies. "There was no final verdict from anybody at this stage."
The state's top school board is set to hold a special meeting March 29 to discuss the state plan.
Whether BESE will consider endorsing the plan, including the timetable, has not been decided.
White's proposal includes a change in how public school letter grades are calculated.
Under the current system, annual academic growth counts for 6 percent of school performance scores, and only applies to struggling students.
One of the changes in his plan would gauge academic growth for all students, and improvements would count for 25 percent of the score, which is then converted to a letter grade for public schools.
He also wants a cap on state testing per school year and reductions in high school exams.
While White has the final say in the plan submitted to federal officials, he said he is confident it will represent a unified front on what school changes are needed.
The governor's task force has recommended a wide range of changes not included in White's proposal, including an overhaul on annual teacher evaluations.