NACCP plans education march

Published 12:26 am Tuesday, June 19, 2007

FERRIDAY — The Louisiana NAACP announced Monday they will march on Baton Rouge to protest Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education policy.

The announcement was made at a press conference at Ferriday Junior High School.

The march will begin at the Governor’s Mansion 9 a.m. June 30 and will end at the BESE headquarters.

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The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is protesting BESE standards requiring students pass standardized tests for grade promotion at certain grade levels.

“(The NAACP) is protesting the unconstitutional utilization of assessment tests as promotional tests,” Concordia-Catahoula NAACP Director Justin Conner said.

The group is unhappy students can pass all school-level requirements but still may be denied promotion because they do poorly on LEAP or GEE tests, he said.

“You’re putting double jeopardy on students,” Conner said.

NAACP officials also said in a press release the state-mandated graduation requirements do not require passage of the tests.

“The (state) constitution does not allow the BESE board to (make these requirements),” Conner said. “They are doing this without the approval of the legislature.”

Forty-four percent of eighth graders and 38 percent of fourth graders tested in Concordia Parish did not meet promotional requirements during spring LEAP testing, documents by the Louisiana Department of Education said.

About 28,000 students in Louisiana failed to meet LEAP requirements this year, documents said.