For the last few years there have been many changes to the education landscape in the state. And more are on the way. An official of the state education department presented the latest update at this month’s board meeting.
Dana Tally is a Network Leader with the Louisiana Department of Education. She works with the local board on curriculum and testing standards. At the meeting Tally told the board, “There have been a lot of changes in the last few years. The department has implemented new standards and created new assessments. And there are new curriculum resources available.”
Tally said, “The final step is a change in how we measure districts and schools.” She referred to the old accountability system that considered a school an “A” school if a majority of students scored BASIC on the LEAP tests. Tally told the board, “We are redefining an ‘A’ school. It is now a school I which the majority of students score MASTERY on LEAP. This means that the students are ready to go on to the next level.”
The changes assign less points to Basic and Mastery and more points to Advanced. Tally said, “The emphasis in now on how many students are growing. Progress indexes will now show where schools are plus what letter grade they get for growth.”
“Expect a decline in scores of local schools because of the changes the state education department has made to the formula.” Tally reassured the board that standards are now consistent and assessments are stable. She added “OK now let’s see what growth we have now that we are measuring apples to apples.”