The 2015-16 Louisiana Student Standards Review gives parents, educators and all concerned citizens the chance to provide input on our state’s learning standards for English and math. This important review, led by Louisiana educators, ensures that K-12 education stays on the right track and that our current and future standards meet the needs of our students and state.

In April of this year, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved the new process for reviewing and making adjustments to the standards. Codified by lawmakers during the 2015 Legislative Session, the process will culminate with the BESE adoption of K-12 learning standards for English and math by no later than March 2016.

The objective of the review is to build on and improve upon our state’s learning expectations wherever necessary, as opposed to starting from scratch. This approach imparts stability and consistency to our students and teachers who have worked hard for the past five years during our state’s transition, raising the academic bar and ensuring that progress continues.

The process consists of an online evaluation allowing all members of the public to review the current standards and submit comments, and a professional review process by committees of Louisiana educators, content experts, postsecondary education leaders, business and industry leaders, and parents.

The online comments portal is active now, and I encourage everyone to visit louisiana.statestandards.com to provide detailed input on the current standards. Every suggestion and concern expressed presents a possibility for improvement and provides committee members a valuable starting point as each standard is considered and recommendations are developed.

All public comments received through the online portal will be shared with committee members throughout the entire process, beginning with the Standards Review Committee meeting on Aug. 19. To ensure that individual comments are received in that first important meeting, feedback should be provided by Aug. 5.

The opportunity for public involvement also includes participation at the committee meetings that will be conducted in each congressional district throughout the state. These meetings provide another means for parents, educators and other stakeholders to share verbal or written feedback. All meetings will be advertised, open to the public and held pursuant to the Louisiana Open Meetings Law. The schedule and complete details on the process are available at the Louisiana Department of Education’s website at louisianabelieves.com.

I strongly urge participation in this open, constructive review that will help shape K-12 education in our state. Public input and engagement is a critical factor in ensuring that Louisiana’s academic standards represent the knowledge and skills students need to succeed.

Holly Boffy

secretary-treasurer and District 7 member, Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Youngsville