Louisiana Department of Education Brings Scale to School Improvement

October 12, 2022

Louisiana Department of Education Brings Scale to School Improvement

While the strengths and challenges of every school are unique, supporting district and school leaders to identify and adapt proven best practices to meet their needs can yield meaningful impact and change for their school communities.   

The Louisiana Best Practices initiative is an innovative state strategy to identify best practices and support improvements in classroom instruction at scale. The state is supporting districts to build these best practices through training, onsite coaching and access to an online library with extensive video and other resources. The best practices identified by the state are based on successful practices implemented in NIET partner districts over more than a decade. The five best practices include: instructional leadership teams, teacher collaboration, teacher standards support, principal standards support, and career pipeline support. 

In the 2021-2022 school year, with a vision for raising student outcomes, the Louisiana Department of Education provided schools across the state the opportunity to participate in best practice training and coaching to strengthen their leadership teams and create teacher collaborative learning opportunities. NIET designed and delivered training and onsite support for each school, and provided educators with access to an extensive video library of classroom lessons and coaching sessions to extend their learning.

  • Over 3,000 educators received certificates for participating in the first two best practice trainings: instructional leadership team and teacher collaboration training. 
  • Support was provided through 220 full-day in-person training sessions and 76 virtual training sessions, followed by 144 site visits.
  • Participants in the best practices training reported significant improvements in teacher practice and school leader practice
    • “The PLC training is going to make a huge difference in my ability to support students who are behind grade level to make up that ground.”
    •  “My main takeaway was the connection between the school leadership team, weekly professional collaboration meetings and classroom practice, and how powerful we can be as a team when we aren’t making these things separate.”
    •  “We will now use our leadership team meetings to ensure we are collaborating, analyzing, monitoring and reporting results. We weren’t doing that before.”

Participants in best practices training report it is impacting classroom teaching, and improving school climate. By identifying evidence-based best practices, providing statewide training in those practices, and following up with coaching on site, this initiative is helping school leaders to support improvements in instruction across the state. This innovative state level strategy provides a powerful model for other states.