Students maintain stable performance on LEAP assessments

LEAP testing copy

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 July 12 by the Louisiana Department of Education, indicate schools sustained 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 4 percent from 2015-2017 and did not change from 2016-2017. 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).

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 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 4 percent increase from 2015.

Students in select school systems have made accelerated progress in ELA, math, and science over time. 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.

School systems impacted by August 2016 floods maintained performance.

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.

• 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.