State schools

Public schools chief outlines hurricane plans and social studies standards

State Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley on Tuesday outlined plans to prepare for future hurricanes, revise social studies standards and prepare high school students for the job market.

Brumley spoke at the general membership meeting of the South Central Industrial Association in Gray.

He was joined by Philip Martin Schools Superintendents of Terrebonne Parish Jarod Martin de Lafourche, who briefed attendees on the ongoing recovery from Hurricane Ida and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Brumley said he assembled a hurricane commission to create a “playbook” for local school officials to prepare for a storm and deal with its aftermath after the state was battered by storms. hurricanes Laura, Delta and Ida.

The commission has approximately 20 members from across the state, including superintendents, directors, and higher education officials.

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The newly formed group was to hold its first meeting Tuesday evening live via Zoom.

“Our goal with launching the Hurricane Commission is to leverage the expertise of these people and develop a playbook that can be used for future storms in Louisiana that will allow us to bring our students back to regular education. face to face as quickly as possible. possible while alleviating some of the stressors for leaders trying to find solutions to their challenges,” Brumley said.

Lafourche School officials estimated it would cost $97 million to repair the damage caused by Hurricane Ida, which made landfall on August 29. Terrebonne schools suffered damages of approximately $200 million.

The next committee meeting is scheduled for March 14 and can be viewed at protectlaschools.org.

Brumley also informed attendees of the state’s proposed revision to its social studies standards in public schools.

The process is guided by a steering committee made up of students, parents, academics and community members who provide feedback to these teachers, Brumley said.

The standards, which have not been updated since 2011, are guidelines for the content and timing of what history is taught in public schools.

According to Brumley, only 24% of Louisiana students are considered proficient in social studies, which includes history, geography, economics and civics.

“We want to be able to capture multiple historical perspectives so that we have everyone’s stories as part of our history in Louisiana and the United States,” Brumley said.

The proposed standards, which will be presented to the state board of elementary and secondary education next month, have drawn interest from the state legislature amid controversy over critical race theory Across the country.

While the proposed social studies guidelines are “pro-American,” they don’t sugarcoat history, Brumley said.

“They’re very pro-American but they also tell a full story of our country’s history,” he said. “Moments such as slavery are certainly included. Moments such as the Middle Passage are certainly included. But they also go into great detail to ensure that students understand and appreciate the country they live in and that it is the largest country on the face of the Earth.

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Brumely also outlined a plan to better equip high school students with the tools they need to enter the workforce or college by offering them an apprenticeship, credential or skill.

The Fast Forward program will prepare students for current and emerging professions by exposing them to highly skilled, well-paying and in-demand positions, Brumley said.

“If a student graduates on May 15, we need them to be able to do something on May 16,” he said.