Studying Louisiana Education Policies

Louisiana has launched one of the most ambitious efforts to improve public schooling in the nation. The state is confronting low kindergarten readiness, low student-assessment scores, and low rates of college attainment, as well as high poverty and unemployment. Its strategies target every step of the student experience, from early childhood to college and career.

RAND researchers funded by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation closely studied Louisiana’s education policies over the past several years through policy documentation and interviews with state policymakers; case studies involving interviews and focus groups with over 200 school system leaders, educators and other stakeholders; state-wide surveys; and student outcomes data.

June 2019 Report Series

In June 2019, RAND released a four-report series that examines how state policy strategies to support students from birth through graduation are being experienced and implemented on the ground by educators and leaders in early childhood settings and K–12 schools, as well as by external partners like higher education institutions, employers, and teacher preparation providers.

The series also examines teaching and learning outcomes that could be associated with state policy strategies. The findings from this study may be useful to education policymakers in other states that are seeking to seeking to make systemic changes to their public education systems from pre-K to high school and beyond. They may also be helpful to district and school system leaders and educators in thinking about useful approaches for implementing state policies and challenges for policy implementation. In addition to the series, the researchers put together a research brief that provides an overview and summary of this work.

Research Brief



June 2018 Report

To lay the groundwork for this report series, researchers provided an initial report in June 2018 that provided a playbook of Louisiana’s strategies to improve opportunities and outcomes for all children in youth in the state in the areas of early childhood education, K-12 academics, teacher preparation, and pathways to college and careers. This report can serve as a guide for states who want to understand the details of these policies better.

Research Brief