Jessica Baghian is a proven leader committed to ensuring opportunity and achievement for every child, particularly students with a history of academic struggles. As an Assistant State Superintendent and Chief Academic Policy Officer for Louisiana, Baghian developed systems that drove historic improvements for students, including record graduation rates, nationally noteworthy performance on the “nation’s report card,” the National Assessment of Educational Progress, and dramatic increases in higher-education participation and success. She has also guided the state’s major expansion of high-quality early childhood opportunities. Her portfolio included statewide assessments for 700,000+ children, systems of accountability and reporting for all schools, expansion of quality early childhood programming, and all data system functions including privacy and strategic research. Baghian oversaw Louisiana’s transition to nationally comparable assessments and the development of Louisiana’s statewide system of formative assessment tools for teachers and students, LEAP 360. She captained the design and implementation of Louisiana’s statewide accountability and performance systems for districts, schools, early childhood providers, and educators.
Baghian has led large, diverse teams to major achievements and is deeply versed in operations and finance as well as in instruction. During her tenure, Louisiana students achieved record-high college enrollment rates, graduation rates, TOPS-eligibility (state-funded scholarship) rates, postsecondary credentialing rates, and ACT scores, and Louisiana was the fastest improving state in the country on Advanced Placement. Over the past decade, Louisiana ranked in the top ten for growth among states in all four core subjects of NAEP.
A graduate of Louisiana State University and with a law degree from Harvard University, she has made her career as a teacher and education leader in Louisiana, beginning as a middle school math teacher in a small town outside of New Orleans. Baghian resides in Baton Rouge, LA with her husband and her two young sons.