Louisiana’s commitment to improvement

Elections | 10/13/2015

Alex Deiro
Marketing and Communication Director

Alex is the Marketing and Communications Director for Stand for Children Louisiana

Download the PDF HERE

Since the 1990’s, Louisiana has committed to raising its standards for students. This has included the development of Louisiana’s Grade-Level Expectations and accompanying tests like the Louisiana Education Assessment Program (LEAP).

High quality, aligned standardized assessments are a critical part of helping our students reach higher expectations.

AND, REMEMBER: Louisiana is required by state law to classify test scores using the same system used by other states that gave a similar assessment.

Without a standardized assessment, we cannot:

Know if our children are learning what they need to learn. Know how children in Monroe are learning compared to children in Lake Charles or Baton Rouge. Know how our children are learning compared to students in other states.

The 2014-2015 scores give us valuable insight into our classrooms. The information that we gain from the test in its first year will be important for two reasons:

Louisiana will be able to compare the state’s performance with 11 other states that took a similar assessment. This will help us to see how we are preparing our students compared to other states and where we should look for information about how to get better.

Test results from this year will allow us to establish a baseline of performance that we will continue to build upon for years to come.

STAY IN THE KNOW: The state will be releasing information about our students’ results on the new assessment over the next three months:

October: BESE will approve cut scores and make preliminary school and district level scores available.

November: Parents will receive Student-Level Information.

December: School Performance Scores and Letter Grades are made available to the public.

Get the Facts:

  1. Q: What is a cut score and why does it matter?
    A: Cut scores and scale score ranges help show how students are performing, compared to their peers throughout the state. Every year that level of achievement will be different, a process used by ACT and SAT boards too when measuring student achievement.
  2. Q: Why are scores just now being made available?
    A: Combing through all of the individual data and creating reports for every district, school and student takes time! The Department of Education received complete individual student raw scores in September. Upon disaggregating over 320,000 student scores by school district following a thorough enrollment verification process, the Department gave district-level raw scores to local superintendents beginning on September 28.
  3. Q: Raw scores look low. Does that mean Louisiana students didn’t do well?
    A: Standardized tests aren’t scored using “percent correct” like a daily quiz. Instead, students were asked to perform tasks of varying difficulty and show degrees of proficiency on each task. Raw scores don’t indicate statewide average achievement levels.
  4. Q: Does this mean that the state can set the cut score wherever the board decides?
    A: No. One of the most important parts of the new exam is that it allows for comparability across the states. The rigor of each standards-based assessment has to be comparable to national achievement tests, including the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP).
  5. Q: So, when will I see scores for my school and my student?
    A: Statewide scale scores will be available the week of October 12. After BESE approves cut scores the Department will release preliminary district-level and school-level scores by achievement level (Basic, Mastery, etc.) the week of October 19. Individual student and school reports will be available the week of November 9. Elementary and middle school performance scores and letter grades will be released in December.
  6. Q: How are our students performing compared to students in other states?
    A: We are raising standards and expectations for our students and raising the bar –our scores on the 2014-2015 PARCC test will allow us to be honest with ourselves and make the changes needed in order to give our students the best education possible. We are confident that scores will continue to improve each year as we continue to raise the bar.

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