Parish test scores beat statewide trend

Published 5:18 pm Thursday, May 24, 2007

Concordia Parish students in the fifth and ninth grades bucked a statewide trend by showing improvement on their iLEAP test scores.

The Integrated Louisiana Educational Assessment Program test is a non-high-stakes test given to gauge how students might perform on the high stakes LEAP tests in the future. Test results do not determine student promotion.

Statewide, fifth and ninth graders scored lower than last year in every content category, while Concordia parish’s fifth graders showed improvement in math, English and social studies.

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Area ninth graders improved in English, and the greatest area-wide improvement was in ninth-grade math.

Students in third, fifth, sixth and seventh grade are tested in in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. Students in ninth grade are tested in mathematics and English.

Superintendent Kerry Laster said the tests help the school districts determine where they need to work in the future.

“We might not have seen growth in all of the core areas, but we have seen some growth at every (grade) level,” Laster said.

Concordia Parish third graders kept with the state trend by showing improvement in English language arts and mathematics. Third-grade students were the only tested grade statewide to show improvement in English.

Sixth graders saw improvement in mathematics, and more students scored at a basic level in English and social studies than last year.

The biggest gains for the parish were made by seventh graders, more of whom scored at basic, mastery and advanced levels than previously.

One area needing attention was science, Laster said.

While the tests might not seem as important to students as high-stakes, they play a big part in school and school district performance reports, Laster said.

“When we see improvement on these tests, we see improvement on our district performance scores,” she said.

Louisiana’s goal is to have all students performing at basic level or above by the year 2014.

School performance scores will be released in the fall.

“I wish every kid we had was scoring basic or above, and that’s exactly our goal,” Laster said.