Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Louisiana education officials note post-pandemic improvement in LEAP test scores

by BIZ Magazine

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana education officials say a measure of state students’ overall proficiency in key subjects increased 2 percentage points for the 2022-23 school year, the state Department of Education said Wednesday.

The department’s release of results from the annual LEAP test — which measures achievement in English, math, science, and social studies for grades 3-12 — also show that 75% of the state’s school systems improved from the prior school year.

Overall, 33% of students had scores indicating “mastery” of subject matter. That’s a 2 percentage point improvement over last year. And it’s nearing the 34% level reached in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic led to lower scores in Louisiana and elsewhere.

THIRD GRADE ENGLISH IMPROVEMENTS

The mastery rate for third grade students in English Language Arts improved five points to a 43 in 2022-23 from a 38 in 2021-22 — the first time since the 2017-18 school year that third graders showed improvement. And students who were in third grade last year showed improvements as fourth graders. “The 2023 ELA mastery rate for fourth graders is 44, which is six points higher than the 38 that cohort earned in 2022 as 3rd graders. This indicates those students made significant strides with one year of instruction,” the department said.

A MIXED BAG OF HIGH SCHOOL RESULTS

High school mastery levels were mostly up: Algebra mastery went up five points to 39; biology, three points to 28; English 1, up two points to 43; English II up 1 point to 47; geometry up three points to 31. History mastery scores were down a point from 28 to 27.

Scores increased in algebra by five (39 from 34), biology by three (28 from 25), English I by two (43 from 41), English II by one (47 from 46), and Geometry by three (31 from 28). US history scores declined by one (27 from 28). Louisiana is implementing a more rigorous set of social studies standards, called the Freedom Framework, in 2023-24.

“SUBGROUPS” IMPROVE

While only about a third of students overall have achieved subject level mastery, the results are even lower for Black and Hispanic students, those with disabilities and those considered economically disadvantaged. Still, all of those groups showed improvement. Black student mastery jumped from 15 to 19; economically disadvantaged from 21 to 24; Hispanic/Latino from 25 to 26; students with disabilities from 9 to 11.

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