Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Some teachers claim LEAP testing tricked students

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BATON ROUGE - Middle school teachers around Louisiana say they were blindsided by surprise questions their students faced on the LEAP test last week.

The controversy involves the Science and Social Studies tests for sixth and seventh graders. News 2 has learned the test preparation guidelines said there would be multiple choice questions.

However, when students went to take the test, they were greeted with essay questions.

Liz Frischhertz is the Chief Officer of Accountability for the East Baton Rouge Parish School System.

"We had a couple of parent phone calls, the kids said 'You won't believe what's on the test,'" Frichhertz said.

It really caused concern for some teachers and students during testing, according to teachers who did not want to be identified for fear of retribution.

"Our teachers work so hard during the year," Frischhertz said.  "We can't look at the test, but it was obvious with the format there was something extra.  It kind of gave the kids a run for their money and teachers, because we didn't plan for this, but we talked to the state and they said it was a field test."

News 2 checked with the Department of Education. State education leaders said field testing is quite common and occurs all over the nation. In this case, the field test questions were not identified beforehand because education leaders wanted students to take all questions seriously.

The state said the field test questions won't count against the students who answered them, but will be used to create future tests.

Steve Monaghan is president of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers.  He called it disrespectful to withhold that information from teachers.

"It's got to stop," Monaghan said.  "They've got to bring teachers to the table."

Monaghan also said he believes parents will take action over this incident.

"We're going to see more and more movement that's happening around the country with students and teachers saying we want to opt out of the test," Monaghan said.  "I don't want to be a part of this as they do in the voucher schools, the test isn't that important, education is."

The Louisiana Department of Education said they disseminated information about field tests to the individual school districts. State education leaders said it was up to the districts to give that information to the students and teachers.

The test scores should be released next month.


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