Statewide hearings set on new school policies _lowres

State Superintendent of Education John White said Wednesday public forums will be held statewide on how Louisiana plans to comply with a new federal education law called the Every Student Succeeds Act.

State education leaders announced Wednesday they will be holding public forums across Louisiana to come up with revised school policies that comply with a new federal law.

The revisions have to meet the guidelines of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, which replaced the previous law known as No Child Left Behind.

State officials have praised the latest measure as one that gives them more flexibility in coming up with rules on reading and math standards; how to identify and remedy troubled public schools and their ability to work with local school districts.

Critics said the 2001 No Child Left Behind law required one-size-fits-all plans for troubled schools and other areas.

“As we go through the process of creating this plan, we want to ensure we hear from everyone -- including parents, educators, advocates and business leaders,” state Superintendent of Education John White said in a prepared statement.

The first public forum is set for July 26 in Lafayette, Lafayette Middle School, 9 a.m.-11 a.m.

Others include Baton Rouge, McKinley Middle Magnet School, July 29; 9 a.m.-11 a.m.; Mandeville, Fontainebleau High School, Aug. 2, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and New Orleans, Woodson/KIPP Central City Academy, Aug. 2, 2 p.m.- 4p.m.

State education leaders will also meet with the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, Accountability Commission, Superintendents’ Advisory Council, Early Childhood Advisory Council and Special Education Advisory Panel.

Topics will include how Louisiana’s performance expectations for students and schools can best be aligned for college and the workplace; ways to aid struggling students; how to transform troubled public schools and ways to make teaching an attractive profession option.

No radical overhaul is in the offing.

Proposed changes in public school policies will be posted on the state Department of Education website for public comment in late summer.

After BESE approves the revisions they will be submitted to the U. S. Department of Education early next year.

The new policies will take effect for the 2017-18 school year.

The old law paved the way for major changes in Louisiana and elsewhere, including annual reports on school progress and sanctions for troubled schools.

The new measure, which was signed into law in December, eliminated the yearly progress requirements.

Under the change, states have to submit their plans to the U. S. Department of Education only to make sure they comply with the law.

Follow Will Sentell on Twitter,@Will Sentell.