The state board of education gave its blessing to a wide ranging set of policy changes on Tuesday, signing off on a new formula for grading the quality of public schools as well as the details of how state officials plan to implement a landmark package of education bills that cleared the state Legislature with the backing of Gov. Bobby Jindal this spring.
As is typical, most of the back-and-forth among board members over these changes took place Monday in committee meetings. The board wrapped up final approval during a half-hour session Tuesday without much debate.
In doing so, they cleared the way for implementation of various components of Jindal's legislative agenda: a new private school voucher program; changes in the rules that govern independent charter schools; a so-called "parent-trigger" that will allow parents in certain circumstances to vote a "failing" school into the state-run Recovery School District; and a new catalogue of courses offered by universities, private companies, or individual teachers that high school students will be able to pay for using tax dollars that would otherwise flow to their school.