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Louisiana Releases New Tool to Help Parents Find Good Early-Learning Options


November 9, 2017
Marva Hinton
Education Week

The state Department of Education released an interactive, online tool Tuesday known as the Louisiana School Finder. It’s designed to help families find and evaluate both child-care centers and K-12 schools.

State Superintendent of Education John White said the tool is an important step in closing the gap between early-learning programs and K-12 education.

“It’s time that we stop accepting the fragmentation of these programs and understand that they really are part of one comprehensive education system, and we should be reporting their results as such,” said White.

The school finder will give parents access to early-childhood performance profiles for 1,500 publicly funded child-care centers, Head Start programs, and pre-K programs.

“It’s our responsibility to give parents information as to the quality of services that the taxpayer is paying for,” said White.

But he said it’s also about helping the state’s schools and early-childhood education centers to get better.

“Systems don’t improve unless there is an awareness of where there are strengths and weaknesses, and a transparent outlining of the strengths and weaknesses within the system is a fundamental step toward improvement,” said White.