Bright and Not-So-Bright Spots in Latest LEAP Test Results

The Louisiana Department of Education has released the results of the LEAP scores for last year.  Red River students showed some areas of great progress.  There also were areas that showed the greatest amount of work is still ahead.

Your editor compared the schools and grades in the parish with the state overall scores.  The full report is available on the LDH website.  The attachments to this article were copied from the state spreadsheets.

Red River students showed the most progress in the basic and approaching basic categories in all subjects.  Grades 3-5 at Red River Elementary and grades 6-8 at Red River Junior High had the most instances in tying or beating the state overall average in just about every subject in those categories.  LEAP subjects for them are English Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies.  Social studies was the weakest link.

Red River High showed the same pattern.  The subjects tested were English I & II, Algebra I, Geometry, US History, and Biology.  The high school scored higher or tied in the basic and approaching basic categories in each subject except US History.

That bright light shining down the tunnel is Red River Academic Academy.  The school just finished its second year in existence.  It was formed to give extra instruction to students in grades 4 through 6 who were struggling academically. LEAP scores say it is working.

In nearly every category test results from RRAA tied or exceeded the statewide results in basic and approaching basic. In some areas those students doubled or better the statewide results.  And RRAA exceeded scores for grades 4-6 for Red River Elementary and Red River Junior High students in many categories.

The dark side.  Red River schools, across the board, did not do well in students reaching advanced or mastery.  Scores trailed the statewide average in all but a few areas.

Worse news.  All schools in Red River, with very few exceptions, beat the state overall scores in the unsatisfactory category.  Red River schools have a great number of students that are yet to reach the approaching basic benchmark.  And while RRAA excelled in some areas, their test results indicated a level of unsatisfactory scores that are greater than the state overall scores.

Editorial Note:  Most adults associate letter grades A-F with school tests.  Current thinking is not to use the letter grades but use the labels mentioned in this story.  Your editor believes that the labels confuse more than clarify to anyone other than someone who works with this on a daily basis.  There are 5 categories in the grading scale in use, so “what if” Advanced = A, Mastery = B, Basic = C, Approaching Basic = D, and Unsatisfactory = F?

The Red River School Board is scheduled to meet Monday, August 9th at 4:30 pm.  The meeting is open to the public.  It will be streamed live by the Journal on our Facebook page.  Set your notifications so you will get an alert when the feed begins.

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