Students prepare for soon-to-be-extinct test

By By Nichole Osinski / American Press

As the second part of LEAP testing draws near, it also means these exams are one step closer to being on their way out.

As part of a process to move into

Common Core standards, LEAP testing will eventually be replaced by the

Partnership for Assessment

of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC.

The first part of the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program exam was taken by fourth- and eight-graders on March 19. The

iLEAP is now set for April 8-11 for students in third, fifth, sixth and seventh grades.

Along with LEAP and iLEAP, the

end-of-course exams that must be passed to receive a high school diploma

will also be replaced.

According to the Associated Press, the new tests will be issued

starting with the 2014-2015 school year. Most of the state’s

nearly 700,000 students in public schools will be effected by the

changes.

The LEAP test was put in place in the late 1990s as part of a school and district accountability system for Louisiana, according

to Stephanie Desselle, vice president for public policy at the Council for a Better Louisiana.

Fourth- and eigth-graders have since

had to pass the LEAP test to move to the next grade. In 2009 the

National Governors Association

initiated a consortium to adopt Common Core standards. At the time

48 states joined.

“Since then about half of those states decided to adopt the new tests,” Desselle said. “This year they’re folding in some

of those standards but at the end of next year they’re going to start testing.”

Teachers are in the process of training to become more familiar with the Common Core standards. Desselle said with these changes

the state will have a better idea of where Louisiana students compare to the rest of the nation.

In addition to the transition from LEAP

tests, Louisiana is adopting new assessments with the Partnership for

Assessment of

Readiness for College and Careers. The PARCC assessments have been

developed for K-12 students in English and math in preparation

for college and careers.

Central Community School System

Superintendent Michael Faulk said the state is will gradually change the

accountably program

as it transitions into CCSS. He said over the years the testing

has become more challenging to stay in line with grade level

expectations.

“As with anything there comes a point

in time where it’s purpose has been served,” Faulk said. “Now you need

to look at something

else and the something else is going to be the Common Core and the

PARCC Assessment.”