DeRIDDER, La. -- Louisiana has transitioned to a new accountability program -- LEAP 2025 -- which focuses on student achievement at the end of the school year along with student growth over the course of the school year, according to Kim Hayes, Director of Curriculum for Beauregard Parish schools.
The Louisiana Department of Education has been rolling out accountability scores in segments this summer and fall based on the new accountability measures. The most recent release details student progress scores, or how much a student showed growth during the school year.
"Students across the state are engaged in a transition for accountability testing that will move them to achieve Mastery or higher," said Hayes. "Scores released by the DOE are concerned with the amount of progress students made toward achieving their individual targeted goal."
Approximately 48 percent of students across Louisiana showed "Top Growth" on ELA assessments, and approximately 43 percent showed "Top Growth" on the math tests. Overall in Beauregard Parish, 46 percent of students earned "Top Growth" for ELA testing while 42 percent earned "Top Growth" for math.
The DOE also released information on the top performing schools and school systems for overall and subgroup categories. Beauregard Parish was among the top seven scores for percent of growth with 53 percent on the 2018 ELA and Math tests combined for the English Language Learners subgroup.
Two Beauregard Parish schools were recognized as Outstanding Schools in the Central Region. East Beauregard Elementary showed a 62 percent Top Growth rate for the 2018 ELA and Math tests while Pine Wood Elementary showed a 59 percent Top Growth rate for both tests.
"We appreciate the efforts of Beauregard Parish schools in making the academic growth of its students a priority, and working to meet the standards of the new accountability program," said Mike Reese, Fort Polk Progress President. "This will encourage students -- both military and civilian -- to keep striving for excellence in school."
For the 2025 benchmark year, an A-rated school in the state will be one in which students are proficient in literacy and math skills as measured by earning "Mastery" and "Advanced" on state accountability tests.
To ensure students are moving toward the "Mastery" target, the DOE assigns each student an individual growth target annually. This growth target measures how much progress a student is making toward the ultimate goal of "Mastery" or higher on the state tests.
Every student not achieving "Mastery" on the LEAP received a growth target for the 2017-2018 year designed to show how much progress the student must make toward "Mastery" to be on target.
Students earning "Mastery" or "Advanced" received a continued growth target to achieve or maintain "Advanced." The most recent data released by the DOE shows students demonstrating "Top Growth" on the progress measure.
"Top Growth" is defined as showing improvement in ELA and math assessments that are on track to "Mastery" level and/or outperforming peers statewide as measured on the value-added model.
The "Every Student Succeeds Act" (ESSA), the federal education law, was implemented for the 2017-2018 school year. Louisiana has developed a plan to meet ESSA requirements to measure the skills students learn, report information to parents and the public, and support students in making academic progress. The plan includes an eight year transition with new benchmarks set for the 2024-2025 school year.
"We will continue our focus on aligning curriculum to testing standards, promoting relevant practice tests throughout the school year, and engaging our students in best practices that will prepare them to make progress toward or maintain the targeted "Mastery" or above standards set by the state," Hayes said.