LA Students maintain stable performance on LEAP Assessments

90 Percent of Districts Have Improved Since 2015, But Results Reveal Persistent Challenges

BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana students maintained steady performance on the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) assessments as schools transitioned to online testing in grades 5 and above for the first time. The spring 2017 results, released today by the Louisiana Department of Education, indicate that schools sustained the significant gains made in recent years, seeing a slight increase in the percentage of students scoring “Mastery” and above in English Language Arts (ELA), a slight decrease in the percentage of those scoring at that level in mathematics, and no change in science. The percentage of students scoring at the Mastery level and above in ELA, math, and science improved by four percent from 2015 to 2017 and did not change from 2016 to 2017. The results also reveal important trends that will inform future approaches to school improvement, including the state’s plan to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
“We have raised academic expectations in Louisiana in order to prepare more students for success in college and the workplace, and it is encouraging to see our students and educators embracing these expectations and achieving at levels competitive with other states,” said State Superintendent John White. “But there remains more work to be done.”
“The results provide further evidence that we must do more to close gaps that persist between historically disadvantaged students and their peers,” White continued. “And while we are proud of continued gains students have made in reading and writing, too many students are struggling with fundamental math and science, which holds them back greatly as they progress through school. Louisiana’s ESSA plan must address these challenges.”
Louisiana Assessment Results
The spring 2017 LEAP assessment results show:
Most school systems statewide have seen student improvement in ELA, math, and science over time. Since 2015, 62 out of 69 school systems in Louisiana–90 percent–have elevated student performance at the Mastery level and above. Students in the Louisiana Scholarship Program have also improved five percent since 2015.
Students have maintained steady performance since last year and increased over time. In 2017, 33 percent of student tests scored Mastery and above in ELA, math, and science combined. This is no change from 2016, but a four percent increase from 2015.
Subject
2015
% Mastery and Above
2016
% Mastery and Above
2017
% Mastery and Above
% Growth
from 2015 to 2017
English Language Arts
37
41
42
5
Math
30
34
32
2
Science
22
24
24
2
Students in select school systems have made accelerated progress in ELA, math, and science over time.
School System Name
2015
% Mastery and Above
2016
% Mastery and Above
2017
% Mastery and Above
% Growth
from 2015 to 2017
Cameron Parish
28
37
39
11
LaSalle Parish
30
35
39
9
St. Helena Parish
7
9
16
9
St. James Parish
28
32
36
8
DeSoto Parish
31
34
38
7
Iberia Parish
28
34
35
7
Sabine Parish
25
28
32
7
Terrebonne Parish
30
34
37
7
Statewide, historically disadvantaged students are improving in ELA, math, and science, but their overall performance and rate of improvement remain lower than that of their peers.
Subgroup
2015
% Mastery and Above
2016
% Mastery and Above
2017
% Mastery and Above
% Growth
from 2015 to 2017
Not Economically Disadvantaged
48
53
52
4
Economically Disadvantaged
21
25
25
4
Difference
27
28
27
0
White
42
45
45
3
African American
17
20
19
2
Difference
25
25
26
1
Students without Disabilities
32
35
35
3
Students with Disabilities
9
10
11
2
Difference
23
25
24
1
English Proficient Students
30
33
33
3
Students with Limited English Proficiency
12
14
13
1
Difference
18
19
20
2
A handful of school systems are leading the way in closing these achievement gaps among historically disadvantaged students and their peers in ELA, math, and science.
Economically Disadvantaged Students
School System
2015
% Mastery and Above
2016
% Mastery
and Above
2017
% Mastery
and Above
2015-2017 Growth
Cameron Parish
21
31
33
12
Central Community School District
31
36
42
11
LaSalle Parish
22
28
32
10
St. Helena Parish
6
9
16
10
St. James Parish
18
23
28
10
African American Students
School System
2015
% Mastery and Above
2016
% Mastery
and Above
2017
% Mastery
and Above
2015-2017 Growth
St. Helena Parish
6
8
15
9
DeSoto Parish
15
19
23
8
St. James Parish
18
22
26
8
Allen Parish
18
24
25
7
Students with Disabilities
School System
2015
% Mastery and Above
2016
% Mastery
and Above
2017
% Mastery
and Above
2015-2017 Growth
Cameron Parish
13
17
22
9
Pointe Coupee Parish
2
5
9
7
St. Helena Parish
≤1
≤1
7
7
Catahoula Parish
7
6
13
6
St. James Parish
6
9
12
6
English Language Learners
School System
2015
% Mastery and Above
2016
% Mastery
and Above
2017
% Mastery
and Above
2015-2017 Growth
LaSalle Parish
17
56
67
50
Caldwell Parish
≤1
50
47
47
Zachary Community School District
20
27
52
32
School systems impacted by August 2016 floods maintained performance. Preliminary analysis shows that there is not a substantial difference in results for flood-impacted parishes; however, the Department will provide complete analyses to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) at its August meeting.
Ensuring Opportunity for All Students
Louisiana’s comprehensive ESSA plan responds directly to the challenges revealed by this year’s results. Under this plan, Louisiana will:
  • Redefine what it means to be an “A” school. By 2025, an “A” school will be one in which students average Mastery on the LEAP and end-of-course assessments, average a score of 21 on the ACT, and graduate on time at a rate of at least 90 percent.
  • Close the achievement gap among historically disadvantaged students by supporting schools in need. Louisiana will deliver targeted funding to students and schools who are the most in need, as well as foster and fund relationships between persistently struggling schools and partners that have demonstrated success in turning around struggling schools.
  • Support students struggling with fundamental math skills, particularly in the middle and upper grades. The Department has released a series of freely available, high quality support tools to be implemented in thousands of 4th-9th grade classrooms across the state during the 2017-2018 school year to support struggling students. Furthermore, in partnership with the College Board and Khan Academy, the Department is working with more than 40 school systems to pilot a new intensive Algebra I course in over 100 9th grade classrooms to help students who enter grade 9 behind catch up on critical skills they have not yet learned while keeping pace with grade-level content.
  • Reduce testing. The Department will continue its commitment to reducing testing by limiting the paper-based testing window to one week and by restricting state tests to no more than two percent of annual educational minutes. Beginning in 2017-2018, the Department will provide school systems with short “check-up” tests that will be developed, scored, and reported in alignment with the Louisiana Student Standards, thus replacing current cumbersome, often misaligned tests administered by districts over the course of the year.
# # #
About the LEAP
The LEAP includes assessments of ELA, mathematics, science, and social studies for grades 3-8. It measures the knowledge and skills contained in the state’s content standards for that particular grade. Student scores are reported on five levels: Unsatisfactory, Approaching Basic, Basic, Mastery, or Advanced. Mastery or above is considered proficient, or ready for the next grade level.
The assessment has evolved as standards have grown more challenging.
  • In 1999, grades 4 and 8 LEAP assessments were designed to be as challenging as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). However, results were not comparable with other states. Scores of “Approaching Basic” and above earned schools performance score points.
  • In 2015, the LEAP assessments measured nationally recognized standards in English and mathematics. Results were comparable to other states.
  • In 2017, ELA, math, and social studies exams were administered fully online to students in grades 5 through 8. Social studies assessments reflected newly approved standards for the first time, and scoring these tests will take longer in the first year. Louisiana’s ELA and math assessments remain comparable with other states; other states’ results are anticipated for release later this summer and fall.
  • In 2018 and in future years, science tests will be updated to reflect newly approved science standards.
Parent Guide to the LEAP Student Reports is sent home with the student reports to help families read and interpret their child’s results. The guide is available in Spanish, Vietnamese, and Arabic in the Department’s Family Support Toolbox. Teachers and principals will also receive guidance on how to talk to parents about the LEAP results, and other tools to support instruction in the 2017-2018 Educator Resource Guide being released later this month.
Related Links
# # # # # #
BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana students maintained steady performance on the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) assessments as schools transitioned to online testing in grades 5 and above for the first time. The spring 2017 results, released today by the Louisiana Department of Education, indicate that schools sustained the significant gains made in recent years, seeing a slight increase in the percentage of students scoring “Mastery” and above in English Language Arts (ELA), a slight decrease in the percentage of those scoring at that level in mathematics, and no change in science. The percentage of students scoring at the Mastery level and above in ELA, math, and science improved by four percent from 2015 to 2017 and did not change from 2016 to 2017. The results also reveal important trends that will inform future approaches to school improvement, including the state’s plan to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
“We have raised academic expectations in Louisiana in order to prepare more students for success in college and the workplace, and it is encouraging to see our students and educators embracing these expectations and achieving at levels competitive with other states,” said State Superintendent John White. “But there remains more work to be done.”
“The results provide further evidence that we must do more to close gaps that persist between historically disadvantaged students and their peers,” White continued. “And while we are proud of continued gains students have made in reading and writing, too many students are struggling with fundamental math and science, which holds them back greatly as they progress through school. Louisiana’s ESSA plan must address these challenges.”
Louisiana Assessment Results
The spring 2017 LEAP assessment results show:
Most school systems statewide have seen student improvement in ELA, math, and science over time. Since 2015, 62 out of 69 school systems in Louisiana–90 percent–have elevated student performance at the Mastery level and above. Students in the Louisiana Scholarship Program have also improved five percent since 2015.
Students have maintained steady performance since last year and increased over time. In 2017, 33 percent of student tests scored Mastery and above in ELA, math, and science combined. This is no change from 2016, but a four percent increase from 2015.
Subject
2015
% Mastery and Above
2016
% Mastery and Above
2017
% Mastery and Above
% Growth
from 2015 to 2017
English Language Arts
37
41
42
5
Math
30
34
32
2
Science
22
24
24
2
Students in select school systems have made accelerated progress in ELA, math, and science over time.
School System Name
2015
% Mastery and Above
2016
% Mastery and Above
2017
% Mastery and Above
% Growth
from 2015 to 2017
Cameron Parish
28
37
39
11
LaSalle Parish
30
35
39
9
St. Helena Parish
7
9
16
9
St. James Parish
28
32
36
8
DeSoto Parish
31
34
38
7
Iberia Parish
28
34
35
7
Sabine Parish
25
28
32
7
Terrebonne Parish
30
34
37
7
Statewide, historically disadvantaged students are improving in ELA, math, and science, but their overall performance and rate of improvement remain lower than that of their peers.

 

Subgroup
2015
% Mastery and Above
2016
% Mastery and Above
2017
% Mastery and Above
% Growth
from 2015 to 2017
Not Economically Disadvantaged
48
53
52
4
Economically Disadvantaged
21
25
25
4
Difference
27
28
27
0
White
42
45
45
3
African American
17
20
19
2
Difference
25
25
26
1
Students without Disabilities
32
35
35
3
Students with Disabilities
9
10
11
2
Difference
23
25
24
1
English Proficient Students
30
33
33
3
Students with Limited English Proficiency
12
14
13
1
Difference
18
19
20
2
A handful of school systems are leading the way in closing these achievement gaps among historically disadvantaged students and their peers in ELA, math, and science.
Economically Disadvantaged Students
School System
2015
% Mastery and Above
2016
% Mastery
and Above
2017
% Mastery
and Above
2015-2017 Growth
Cameron Parish
21
31
33
12
Central Community School District
31
36
42
11
LaSalle Parish
22
28
32
10
St. Helena Parish
6
9
16
10
St. James Parish
18
23
28
10
African American Students
School System
2015
% Mastery and Above
2016
% Mastery
and Above
2017
% Mastery
and Above
2015-2017 Growth
St. Helena Parish
6
8
15
9
DeSoto Parish
15
19
23
8
St. James Parish
18
22
26
8
Allen Parish
18
24
25
7
Students with Disabilities
School System
2015
% Mastery and Above
2016
% Mastery
and Above
2017
% Mastery
and Above
2015-2017 Growth
Cameron Parish
13
17
22
9
Pointe Coupee Parish
2
5
9
7
St. Helena Parish
≤1
≤1
7
7
Catahoula Parish
7
6
13
6
St. James Parish
6
9
12
6
English Language Learners
School System
2015
% Mastery and Above
2016
% Mastery
and Above
2017
% Mastery
and Above
2015-2017 Growth
LaSalle Parish
17
56
67
50
Caldwell Parish
≤1
50
47
47
Zachary Community School District
20
27
52
32
School systems impacted by August 2016 floods maintained performance. Preliminary analysis shows that there is not a substantial difference in results for flood-impacted parishes; however, the Department will provide complete analyses to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) at its August meeting.
Ensuring Opportunity for All Students
Louisiana’s comprehensive ESSA plan responds directly to the challenges revealed by this year’s results. Under this plan, Louisiana will:
  • Redefine what it means to be an “A” school. By 2025, an “A” school will be one in which students average Mastery on the LEAP and end-of-course assessments, average a score of 21 on the ACT, and graduate on time at a rate of at least 90 percent.
  • Close the achievement gap among historically disadvantaged students by supporting schools in need. Louisiana will deliver targeted funding to students and schools who are the most in need, as well as foster and fund relationships between persistently struggling schools and partners that have demonstrated success in turning around struggling schools.
  • Support students struggling with fundamental math skills, particularly in the middle and upper grades. The Department has released a series of freely available, high quality support tools to be implemented in thousands of 4th-9th grade classrooms across the state during the 2017-2018 school year to support struggling students. Furthermore, in partnership with the College Board and Khan Academy, the Department is working with more than 40 school systems to pilot a new intensive Algebra I course in over 100 9th grade classrooms to help students who enter grade 9 behind catch up on critical skills they have not yet learned while keeping pace with grade-level content.
  • Reduce testing. The Department will continue its commitment to reducing testing by limiting the paper-based testing window to one week and by restricting state tests to no more than two percent of annual educational minutes. Beginning in 2017-2018, the Department will provide school systems with short “check-up” tests that will be developed, scored, and reported in alignment with the Louisiana Student Standards, thus replacing current cumbersome, often misaligned tests administered by districts over the course of the year.
# # #
About the LEAP
The LEAP includes assessments of ELA, mathematics, science, and social studies for grades 3-8. It measures the knowledge and skills contained in the state’s content standards for that particular grade. Student scores are reported on five levels: Unsatisfactory, Approaching Basic, Basic, Mastery, or Advanced. Mastery or above is considered proficient, or ready for the next grade level.
The assessment has evolved as standards have grown more challenging.
  • In 1999, grades 4 and 8 LEAP assessments were designed to be as challenging as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). However, results were not comparable with other states. Scores of “Approaching Basic” and above earned schools performance score points.
  • In 2015, the LEAP assessments measured nationally recognized standards in English and mathematics. Results were comparable to other states.
  • In 2017, ELA, math, and social studies exams were administered fully online to students in grades 5 through 8. Social studies assessments reflected newly approved standards for the first time, and scoring these tests will take longer in the first year. Louisiana’s ELA and math assessments remain comparable with other states; other states’ results are anticipated for release later this summer and fall.
  • In 2018 and in future years, science tests will be updated to reflect newly approved science standards.
Parent Guide to the LEAP Student Reports is sent home with the student reports to help families read and interpret their child’s results. The guide is available in Spanish, Vietnamese, and Arabic in the Department’s Family Support Toolbox. Teachers and principals will also receive guidance on how to talk to parents about the LEAP results, and other tools to support instruction in the 2017-2018 Educator Resource Guide being released later this month.
Related Links
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