Iberville posts 3rd best gains on LEAP tests; high stakes scores down

DEIDRE CRUSE, Governmental Reporter

The state Department of Education singled out the Iberville Parish School District as making the third highest gains on standardized test scores from 2009 to 2010, although the parish's average scores continue to lag those of the state in most instances.

Statewide, 37 of 70 school districts made gains in the number of students scoring at “Basic” or above on their standardized tests this spring. The Recovery School District in New Orleans showed a gain of six points, and Richland Parish, five. Iberville tied with DeSoto Parish with gains of four points each.

“Overall, the district showed improvement,” said Janet Marionneaux, the system's executive director of personnel, curriculum and instruction.

Students in grades three, five, six, seven and nine take the iLEAP test, which is not linked to promotion. On every test, local students  posted proficiency gains over 2009.Third graders outperformed their peers around the state on three of the four skills tests.

Local fourth and eighth graders taking the high stakes Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) tests required for promotion, however, fared worse than last year's test-takers. This year, 68 percent of fourth graders met the promotional standards, down 15 percentage points from 2009, while 60 percent of eighth graders met the standards, down seven points.

“The fourth grade increased mostly in math, but the English Language Arts scores went down,” said school psychologist Erin Gross who compiled the scores for each school.

“We don't know what happened, we really don't,” Gross said, noting that this year's fourth graders did score lower on their pretests that the 2009 class.

The school district scores posted by the Department of Education showed the proficiency scores for local fourth and eighth dropped on every test, and were lower than state proficiency scores in all but one instance.

School by school, there were some dramatic gains and losses in the percentages of students showing proficiency, according to information from charts Gross provided.

None was more dramatic than East Iberville High School's  improvement in the rate from 33.3 percent in 2009 to 70.4 percent in 2010 on the GEE English exam. East Iberville also posted 74.1 percent proficiency on the GEE math test, up from 59.3 percent last year.

On the third grade English exam, 57.2 percent of students at Iberville Elementary School showed proficiency, up from 45.5 in 2009, while 68.6 percent of students at East Iberville Elementary School did, compared to 56.4 percent last year.

On the fifth grade English test, the number showing proficiency went up from 50.9 percent to 69.8 percent at Dorseyville Elementary School, and from 65 to 79.1 percent at Crescent Elementary and Junior High.

In sixth grade math, the proficiency rate increased from 59.7 percent in 2009 to 84.4 percent this year at Crescent, and from 51.3 percent to 73.7 percent at Dorseyville.

In seventh grade english, the rate improved from 38.3 percent to 63 percent proficiency at White Castle High School, and from 37.5 percent to 55.6 percent.

In other subjects, there were substantial drops in the proficiency rate:

– 89.7 percent in 2009 to 70.1 percent in 2010 at Crescent and 84 percent to 50.7 percent at Iberville Elementary in fourth grade English.

– 67.9 percent to 41.8 percent at Iberville Elementary in fourth grade math.

– 91,8 to 64.8 percent at Crescent and 55.8 to 32.7 percent at White Castle High in eighth grade English.

– 79.5 to 69 percent at Crescent in eighth grade math.

– 61.7 to 42.2 percent at Plaquemine High and 67.6 to 53.7 percent at White Castle High in ninth grade math.

District Scores

In 2009, 79 percent of the district's fourth graders demonstrated proficiency by scoring at “Basic,” Mastery” or “Advanced” levels in English, compared to 62 percent in 2010. In math, the number demonstrating proficiency dropped from 71 to 61 percent; in science, from 67 to 53 percent, and in social studies, from 64 to 58 percent.

Among eighth graders the number scoring basic or above dropped from 65 to 50 percent in English, from 52 to 43 percent in math, from 52 to 42 percent in science, and from 58 to 47 percent in social studies.

Local 10th and 11th graders taking the Graduate Exit Exam (GEE) generally improved on last year's scores. Sixty-nine percent demonstrated proficiency in English this year, compared to 60 percent in 2009; 43 percent did so in science, compared to 41 percent last year, and 56 percent did in social studies, a 10-point inprovement over 2009. Math scores slipped, with 61 percent showing proficiency, compared to 66 percent last year.

Local third graders missed the state average of proficiency by a point in math, but bested the state averages on the other subjects. In English, 69 percent demonstrated proficiency, up from 60 percent last year; 66 percent did so in math, up from 60 percent last year; 68 percent did in science, up from 50 percent last year, and 74 percent did in social studies, up from 58 percent last year.

Among fifth graders, 61 percent showed proficiency in English, up from 47 percent last year; 61 percent in math, up from 60 percent; 53 percent in science, up from 45 percent, and 60 percent in social studies, up from 47 percent.

Among sixth graders, 63 percent demonstrated proficiency in English, up from 56 percent in 2009; 68 percent in math (a point higher than the state average), up from 55 percent; 59 percent in  science, up from 43 percent, and 52 percent in social studies,  from 46 percent.

Among seventh graders, 61 percent showed proficiency in English, up from 44 percent last year; 56 percent in math, up from 48 percent last year; 49 percent in science, up from 40 percent last year, and 57 percent in social studies, up form 55 percent last year.

In ninth grade, 57 percent of students demonstrated proficiency in English, up from 43 percent last year, while 50 percent did so in math, up from 39 percent last year. Scores for science and social studies were not available for the ninth grade.