Results in from new test

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 19, 2006

VIDALIA &8212; District-wide results are in for the first-ever iLEAP test, and most Concordia Parish scores are fairly in line with the state results.

Third-, fifth-, sixth-, seventh- and ninth-grade students in Louisiana took the new test for the first time last spring. The test is a combination of the Iowa and LEAP, exams students have taken in the past. Fourth- and eighth-graders still take the LEAP.

Because the test is brand new and scored differently, it can&8217;t be compared to last year&8217;s results to measure improvement.

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On first glance, Superintendent Kerry Laster said she feels good about scores in all grades but seventh and ninth.

In the lower grades the percentage of local students scoring basic, mastery or advanced was right at or a few points below or above the state in all subject areas.

&8220;One of our goals has been to try to get some additional children in mastery and advanced,&8221; Laster said. &8220;In times past, on the LEAP, we&8217;ve had zero in mastery.&8221;

In most grades at most subject levels, about 10 students scored mastery. No level had zero at mastery.

Students can score unsatisfactory, approaching basic, basic, mastery and advanced on the test.

Laster also said she was happy with math scores at the fifth-grade level, but saw room for improvement in other grades.

The lowest scores are at the seventh- and ninth-grade levels, though, Laster said.

&8220;I&8217;m most disappointed with those,&8221; she said. &8220;But that bears out with what principals tell me. If it doesn&8217;t count for a grade or mean pass or fail, (those students) just go in and don&8217;t necessarily make a big deal out of it. They may do OK, and they may not.&8221;

Fourth- and eighth-graders taking the high stakes LEAP can be held back a grade based on their scores, but the other grade levels don&8217;t have the same consequences.

Laster received the scores Wednesday, and said she&8217;ll be reviewing them further in the coming days. Individual scores and school scores have not yet been released, but are expected at the end of the week or early next week. Parents will receive a report on their children.

School Performance Scores &8212; state rankings that can send a school into school improvement &8212; will not be released until late fall.