School officials unhappy with LEAP scores

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 15, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – Officials with the Concordia Parish School District say they had hoped more students would pass the July retest of the Louisiana Education Assessment Program test.

&uot;It’s an improvement, but not what we had hoped,&uot; said Superintendent Dr. Lester &uot;Pete&uot; Peterman. &uot;We were just hoping that more of our summer-retake kids had been able to pass the test.&uot;

Students in the fourth- or eighth-grade who failed either the English/language arts or math sections of the LEAP test this spring were required to attend summer school and retake the test.

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On scores released Tuesday, 39, or 61 percent, of the fourth-graders that took the English/language arts retest failed.

Forty-nine, or 45 percent, of the fourth-graders who retook the math section failed.

But the fourth-graders math retest had a &uot;bright spot,&uot; Peterman said.

Of the 59 students who passed, 19 of them scored on the basic level one level above the approaching basic level needed to pass.

On the eighth-grade level, 22, or 76 percent, of the students who took the English/language arts retest failed. In math, 41, or 66 percent of the eighth-graders failed the retest.

But is important to note some of the students are classified as special education students or perform at the very bottom of their class. &uot;We knew that some of the students taking the test begin at a very low level,&uot; Peterman said.

So the district is waiting for summer school data to see what gains these students made during the summer, Peterman said.

It is also important to note that some students who failed the spring LEAP test did not attend summer school, or retake the test during the summer.

Even though they did not do so, those students – four students who failed eighth-grade math, nine students who failed fourth-grade English/language arts and math, and one who failed eighth-grade English/language arts during the spring – were counted as failures on the summer retake.

Those students are required to repeat either the fourth-grade or the eighth-grade this year, Peterman said.

On its passage rate, the Concordia Parish School District scored three points above the state average in fourth-grade English/language arts, 10 points above the state average in fourth-grade math, and one point above the state average in eight-grade math.

It scored below the state average in eight-grade English/language arts with a score of 24 percent as compared to a state average of 42 percent.

But the district also needs to look at its own improvement from year to year and see if it is satisfied with that, Peterman said.

The students who failed the retest will advance to the fifth-grade or ninth-grade this fall but they must take transitional or remedial classes in the subjects they failed, Peterman said.

With the Concordia Parish School District set to begin classes Monday, school officials were still waiting Tuesday to get the individual student scores on the LEAP retake.

These are necessary to determine how to schedule classes for the upcoming year, Peterman said.