2012 TEST RESULTS RELEASED; MORE STUDENTS AT GRADE LEVEL

May 23, 2012

Biggest Gains in Math and Science

BATON ROUGE, La. - Superintendent of Education John White joined leaders in Jefferson Parish this afternoon to recognize the district’s gains in student achievement.  According to the statewide testing report released by the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) today, Jefferson Parish’s 2012 test results rank among the highest in the state for improvement from last year to this year - a trend that also places the district near the top for growth over the last five years.  At the same time, White congratulated the education community across Louisiana for the state’s overall progress, noting nearly 10,000 more Louisiana students are on grade level this year, compared to last year.  Specifically, the percentage of students performing at grade level for all grades and subjects grew from 66 percent in 2011 to 68 percent in 2012.   The two-point bump follows consecutive one-point gains in 2009 and 2010.  From a historical perspective, in 1999, less than half students, only 45 percent, were at grade level. 

Governor Bobby Jindal said:  "Our students’ rising test scores is encouraging news for parents, and a testament to the hard work of our teachers and students, but we won’t rest until every child has the opportunity for a great education."

The two-point gain represents the largest increase in three years.  Since 2008, the percentage of students at grade level has increased by eight percentage points, from 60 to 68 percent, compared to a four-point gain from 2004-2008. 

"These outcomes, and Louisiana’s ongoing progress, demonstrate all students can achieve academic success with the support of dedicated and capable educators," White said. "I want to congratulate our districts and school communities for believing in our students and recognizing they have the power to change lives.  At the same time, we’re still leaving too many students behind.  As we seek to accelerate this growth, I’m confident the policies and initiatives we’re putting in place will help us quickly develop the capacity to ensure all our students, at every grade level, are on track to attain a college degree or succeed in a professional career."

While state officials say the report today represents continued progress, they said they are working with urgency to elevate outcomes for the 225,000 students across Louisiana who are still not at grade level.

"We’re encouraged by this latest report and applaud the hard work of our students and educators," Board of Elementary and Secondary Education President Penny Dastugue said.  "While the positive trend is proof that we’re moving in the right direction, I know none of us will be satisfied until we’re at 100 percent."

At the local level, 48 of Louisiana’s 71 school districts saw gains in the percentage of students at Basic and above from 2011 to 2012.  This is up from last year, when 42 districts achieved gains between 2010 and 2011. 

State and local officials credit their progress to aggressive reform initiatives recently put in place.  In fact, nine of the 16 highest ranking districts - where the growth of students at grade level outpaced the state’s two-point gain - are participating in one or more of the state’s most current pilot programs: Value-Added, Compass, Student-Based Budgeting, and Trailblazer.  

With a three-point bump this year, Jefferson Parish is tied for 8th in the state for its 13- point combined increase, from 51 percent in 2007 to 64 percent in 2012.  In fact, the district is one of only two in the state participating in all four of the state’s recent and ongoing pilot programs. 

Greenlawn Terrace Elementary School demonstrated some of the largest gains in Jefferson Parish in the percentage of students performing at grade-level between 2011 and 2012, increasing from 73 percent to 81 percent.  The school’s performance score has increased from 103 in 2008 to 106 in 2011, earning a grade of B-.  Greenlawn Terrace has been a High-Performing, High-Poverty School for the last three years and the school’s population of students eligible for free/reduced lunch is 81.9 percent.

"Although we’re still nowhere close to where we want to be, we can celebrate the fact that more of our students are where they need to be," Jefferson Parish Superintendent James Meza said.  "We’re doing some good things, and we’re headed in the right direction.  But what I’m especially encouraged about is the expectations this community has set for our students and the call for bold change and quick improvement."

The most improved district in the state, based on the point change in the percentage of students at Basic and above from 2007-2012,  is the Recovery School District (RSD) New Orleans, where the proficiency level has more than doubled, from 23 percent in 2007, to 51 percent in 2012.   Statewide, the state-run school district grew two points. 

"The continued progress of Louisiana’s school turnaround model is proof that systemic change is possible.  In New Orleans, school reform is not only driving improvement in targeted schools, but throughout the community, and the bottom line, is more children are succeeding," RSD Superintendent Patrick Dobard said.

The top district in the state, based on the percentage of students at grade level or above after 2012 spring testing, is Zachary Community School District, where 87 percent of students are at grade level. 

Testing and Analysis 

Each year, students in 4th and 8th grade participate in the high-stakes LEAP test, which determines whether they will be required to attend summer school or be retained.  Students must score Basic or above in either English Language Arts (ELA) or math and Approaching Basic or above in the other subject to advance to the next grade. Fourth graders have had to meet this requirement since 2004, while eighth graders have had to meet this requirement since 2006. Students who initially fail to meet the standards for promotion during spring testing are given another opportunity during the summer.

Students in 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th grade take the state’s iLEAP test, which is designed to measure student progress but does not determine whether they will be retained in their current grade.

High school students in 11th grade took Louisiana’s Graduation Exit Examination, or GEE, which they are required to pass at some point in their high school career to earn a standard diploma.  This marks the last year that 11th graders are taking the GEE, which has been replaced by the End-of-Course tests.  In order to graduate, students in the Class of 2014 and beyond must attain a passing score on three of the state’s End of Course (EOC) tests: English II or English III, Algebra I or Geometry, and Biology or U.S. History.  EOC exams are administered later in the spring and the results will be released over the summer.

Based on the percentage of students at grade level, an analysis of the 26 subject and grade-level assessments reported today reveals only four categories declined from 2011 to 2012, five remained flat, but the remainder, 17, increased.  Today’s report also shows the following: 

  • Students made the biggest combined gains in math, where the percentage of students at Basic and above in 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade grew by 14 or an average of 2.3 percentage points. 
  • The second biggest growth was in science, where the percentage of students at grade level grew 11 points, or an average of 1.8 points. 
  • In terms of student cohorts, Louisiana’s 8th grade class did especially well; the change in the percentage of students at grade level increased by 4 percent in math, 3 percent in science, 6 percent in social studies, and remained unchanged in English.   In English and math, which determine whether 4thand 8th grade students are promoted to the next grade, students made gains in three of the four exams; only in 8th grade ELA did the percentage remain unchanged.

The percentage of 4th grade students who scored Advanced and Mastery in ELA grew by two points; likewise, this measure grew two points for 8th grade students in math; however, 8th grade students scoring Advanced and Mastery in ELA dropped by one point from last year.

District Highlights

The top 16 highest ranking districts, based on gains in the percentage of students performing at Basic and above on spring testing from 2011 to 2012, are:

School District

Gains in Percentage of Students at Basic and Above (2011 to 2012)

St. Helena Parish

13

Desoto Parish

6

Central Community School District

4

Assumption Parish

3

Bossier Parish

3

Cameron Parish

3

East Baton Rouge Parish

3

Jefferson Parish

3

LaSalle Parish

3

Plaquemines Parish

3

Recovery School District-New Orleans

3

St. James Parish

3

St. Tammany Parish

3

Terrebonne Parish

3

Webster Parish

3

City Of Bogalusa School District

3



The top 13 highest ranking districts, based on gains in the percentage of students at grade level or above from 2008 to 2012, are: 

School District

Gains in Percentage of Students at Basic and Above (2007 to 2012)

Recovery School District-New Orleans

28

East Carroll Parish

21

St. Bernard Parish

18

Madison Parish

17

Orleans Parish

16

Iberville Parish

15

St. Helena Parish

14

Cameron Parish

13

DeSoto Parish

13

East Baton Rouge

13

Jefferson Parish

13

Plaquemines Parish

13

Pointe Coupee Parish

13

The top 13 highest ranking districts, based on the percentage of students performing at grade level or above on Spring 2012 testing, are:

School District

Percentage of Students at Basic and Above

Zachary Community School District

87

West Feliciana Parish

83

Central Community School District

83

Orleans Parish

82

Plaquemines Parish

82

St. Tammany Parish

81

Vernon Parish

81

Livingston Parish

80

St. Charles Parish

79

Allen Parish

77

Ascension Parish

77

Jefferson Davis Parish

77

LaSalle Parish

77



State/District Rankings and Reports
Spring 2012 Testing Results: PowerPoint Presentation (PPTX)
District Rankings: Based on Percent of Students at Basic & Above Spring 2012 (XLS)
District Rankings: Based on Change in Percent of Students at Basic & Above (2011 to 2012) (XLS)
District Rankings: Based on Change in Percent of Students at Basic & Above (2007 to 2012) (XLS)
District Report: Comparison of Students Meeting Promotional Standard (2011 to 2012) (XLSX)
District Report: Percentage of Students at Basic and Above Based on Students’ Home (Residential District) (XLS)

District-Level Results  
Spring 2012 iLEAP: State/District Achievement Level Summary Report (Percent) (XLS)
Spring 2012 LEAP Students Meeting Promotional Standard Report (Percent/Number) (XLS)
Spring 2012 LEAP/GEE: State/District Achievement Level Summary Report (Percent) (XLS)

School-Level Results 
Spring 2012 iLEAP State/District/School Achievement Level Summary Report (Percent) (XLS)
Spring 2012 LEAP/GEE State/District/School Achievement Level Summary Report (Percent) (XLS)



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FAST FACTS

General:

  • Louisiana began its testing program in 1999; only 4th and 8th graders were tested.
  • In 2006, the state’s testing program was expanded to include the iLEAP for grades 3,5, 6, 7 and 9; in 2001, high school students began taking the GEE, which, until the Class of 2013, will determine whether students earn a standard high school diploma.
  • Louisiana has earned national recognition for its state accountability system, which includes student testing.


Testing, Remediation (Summer School); Waivers

  • If a student does not pass LEAP, he or she may participate in LEAP summer remediation and a summer retest in the subject in which the student scored at the Unsatisfactory and/or Approaching Basic level.
  • School districts must offer opportunities to schools to at no cost, a minimum of 50 hours per subject of summer remediation and retest opportunities in ELA and mathematics to students who did not take the spring LEAP tests or who failed to meet the passing standard (Unsatisfactory and/or Approaching Basic level.)
  • Students are not required to attend summer remediation to be eligible for the summer retest.
  • Fourth grade students who scored Approaching Basic/Approaching Basic in ELA and Math and do not meet the state’s 4th-grade promotional standard may participate in a Fourth Grade Transitional Program, which is designed to provide students with remedial 4th-grade class work and regular 5th-grade course work. If students meet certain criteria through their participation in the Transitional Program, they are eligible to advance to the 6th grade.


Eighth grade students who do not meet the Basic/Approaching Basic promotional standard to be promoted to the 9th grade, but score at least Approaching Basic in either English or math, may enter high school to pursue a Career Diploma. Additionally, students who have not met the Basic/Approaching Basic promotional standard or the criteria to pursue a career diploma must repeat the 8th grade. However, students are only required to repeat the 8th grade once and may advance to high school and enter a program that best suits their academic needs.