Gov. John Bel Edwards named nine members to a panel Wednesday to recommend changes in public…
The governor's panel may recommend changes in how public schools' letter grades are formulated and call for changes to other accountability measures, which would trigger controversy.
Scott Richard, executive director of the Louisiana School Boards Association and a member of Edwards' advisory council, said one purpose of the panel is to "really look at the various initiatives that we have bounced around with in Louisiana and determine if they are truly working."
Debra Schum, executive director of the Louisiana Association of Principals and another task force member, made a similar point.
"The advisory council will make sure that we are looking at the right changes for our accountability system," Schum said. "I think ESSA opens a lot of doors."
Critics contend the governor's panel would like to use its review to try to undo key parts of the public school overhaul in place since 2012, including letter grades, testing and other areas.
"I think it is a shame that certain people would fail to understand that it is time to let the reforms that we put in place take effect and start having an impact," said former Senate Education Committee Chairman Conrad Appel, R-Metairie. He is now a rank-and-file member of the committee.
The new federal law that states have to comply with replaced the No Child Left Behind Act. It is aimed at improving student achievement by requiring schools meet certain benchmarks.
The review by the state Department of Education is not expected to recommend sweeping changes on public school letter grades or other key accountability measures.