Louisiana public school tests scores largely unchanged, flat

Associated Press

BATON ROUGE — The drive to improve Louisiana’s public school achievement stalled in the third year of tougher standards, with students in grades 3-8 showing little change in their standardized test scores.

The Advocate reports that results released by state officials Wednesday show one in three students statewide achieved the “mastery” benchmark in math, English and science. That’s the same outcome as last year.

“We have raised academic expectations in Louisiana in order to prepare more students for success in college and the workplace, and it is encouraging to see our students and educators embracing these expectations and achieving at levels comparable with other states,” Superintendent of Education John White said in a statement that accompanied the results. “But there remains more work to be done.”

Results on the LEAP tests — formally called the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program — taken by students in grades 3-8 are put into one of five achievement levels: advanced, mastery, basic, approaching basic and unsatisfactory.

Students will have to average mastery, and meet other academic targets, for schools to earn an A rating in Louisiana’s public school grading system starting in 2025.

Students did best in English and worst in science. Forty-two percent of students achieved mastery in English, 32 percent in math and 24 percent in science.

The English results have risen five percentage points in the past two years, while math and science each rose two points.

Among other findings, less than one in five of the students, 18 percent, who receive taxpayer-financed vouchers to attend private schools achieved mastery, up from 13 percent two years ago. In addition, school districts affected by the August 2016 flood showed no major differences with other school systems.

Gaps remain large between black and white students, with 45 percent of white students achieving mastery this year compared with 19 percent for black students.

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