Louisiana support blooms for flexible admissions policies amid COVID-19

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (WVLA/WGMB) — Many Louisiana students may be done with their school years, but state lawmakers aren’t done with their spring.

A House committee sailed through legislation Tuesday to change admissions and grade-advancement policies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

One concurrent resolution advanced would suspend instructional time requirements most schools use before promoting a student to the next grade; another would promote holistic higher education admissions standards. The virus has put in-person learning, as well as standardized testing, to a halt.

“We can’t leave our kids behind,” Fields said in an interview Tuesday. “Holistic means we consider the whole student, not just an ACT or SAT score. They shouldn’t be punished because they didn’t get to take it this April.”

Fields says most lawmakers and education leaders he has spoken to have already incorporated the holistic guidelines he supports. He hopes his legislation will fill remaining gaps.

The Baton Rouge Democrat’s resolutions head next to the full House for final passage. He adds that even if his proposals become law, the rise of remote learning still leaves students with other hurdles.

“I just think it’s unconscionable in 2020 that we cannot provide access to internet services for every household in the State of Louisiana,” Fields said. “We have to do that.”

A bill from Sen. Beth Mizell (R-Franklinton), which seeks to bring high-speed internet to rural communities, is nearing final passage in the House.

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