Scores show fewer students failed LEAP test this year

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 2, 2000

VIDALIA, La. – LEAP test results for spring 2000 are in – and while most Concordia Parish public schools made gains in English and math, their greatest gains are in eighth-grade math.

Passing the LEAP test – scoring &uot;approaching basic&uot; or above – determines whether a fourth- or eighth-grade student passes to the next grade.

To help improve scores this year, the district will start new reading programs this year and will emphasize reading throughout its curriculum, said Superintendent Lester &uot;Pete&uot;&160;Peterman.

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The district will also work on teaching better testing skills and work to improve its assessment of test scores.

&uot;We’re not reinventing the wheel – we’re just improving what we did last year,&uot;&160;Peterman said.

According to the scores, 21.49 percent fewer students at Ferriday Junior High failed the math portion of the test in spring 2000 than in spring 1999. At Monterey School, 17.32 percent fewer students failed; at Vidalia Junior High, 16.22 percent fewer students failed.

Districtwide, 23.35 percent fewer eighth-grade students failed math this year than last, while 15.89 percent fewer of the students failed English.

And 6.4 percent fewer fourth-grade students failed math, while 5.03 percent fewer students failed English.

But the percentage of students failing English and math was still the highest at Ferriday Upper Elementary and Ferriday Junior High.

The percentage of students failing rose slightly at Vidalia Upper Elementary in English and at Ridgecrest School in both subject areas.

Those who fail both sections in the spring and on a summer retest will be held back in school another year.

Those who only fail one section will be promoted, but will have to take transitional classes in that subject.

The district hopes to receive scores for the LEAP retest – which students took last month – from the state Aug. 8 for eighth-graders and Aug. 14 for fourth-graders.

District officials will then use the retest scores to determine in what grades and classes those students will be placed in the school year that begins Aug. 19.

&uot;That doesn’t give us much time,&uot; Peterman said.

The school district decided earlier this year to push its normal start date back a week to accommodate the late test results.

Statewide, 35,000 students failed last spring on one or more portions of the test, according to The Associated Press.