LEAP 'Mastery' test scores hold steady, concerns over achievement gap persist

July 10, 2018 - 1:48 pm
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(WWL.com)

This year’s LEAP Test results are in, and average scores are up one percent over the 2016-2017 school year.

 The percentage of students in the 3rd through 8th grade who scored mastery level or above on the test sits at 3%. Only 21% of African American students scored mastery level or above, and Superintendent of Education John White says this needs to be a major focus going forward.

“While there are modest improvements across a number of measures, not just on the LEAP, you see that gap is not closing.”

26% of economically disadvantaged students scored mastery level or above, along with 11% of students with disabilities.

BESE plans on addressing the massive gap in performance between the general student population and at-risk populations by identifying those schools with, particularly troubling achievement gaps. White says this will target schools across the state.

“This year, hundreds of schools will be identified as in need of urgent improvement. Schools will have to submit plans to the state for addressing the specific needs of those groups of disadvantaged students.”

43% of students showed mastery in English Language Arts and Literacy, 32% in Mathematics, and 27% in Social Studies. Both ELA and Social Studies saw increases this year, but Mathematics growth remained stagnant. 

“Our hypothesis is that this largely has to do with the struggle to recruit, train and retain teachers with a deep content knowledge in mathematics,” said White. 
 

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