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Statewide testing to determine if students will move on to next grade

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BATON ROUGE - The countdown has already started as students statewide are gearing up for testing.

For the last few years, the results of the statewide educational assessments have largely been a reflection of schools' overall performance. But now, students in grades third through eighth have to pass two of the four core subject areas tested to get to the next grade.

“We want them to do their best,” said Herman Brister, director at the Southern University Laboratory School. “We have preventive measures in place if they don't do their best and fall a little bit short. We have measures that we can do across the summer to make sure they make it to the next grade."

Those preventative measures can vary by district, but EBR Superintendent Warren Drake says their plan kicks in as soon as the results are in if a student does not get a passing score.

“If they don't, it comes down to a pupil progression plan. The principals on campus, the teachers on campus will make that determination,” Drake said. “We won't get the scores back until the middle of June and by that time students will have needed to be in summer school."

Because the results come in so late, EBR policy allows for the student's individual school to make a determination on their performance.

“A school building level committee will take a look at each individual student to see what kind of grades they had in the courses, get input from the teachers they had, and that building level committee will make the decision on if they can move on to the next grade,” said Drake.

Despite the anxiety of testing, some school administrators say now is the time for students to gear up to perform.

“We've been working to prepare our students for the test since August. Now, as I tell our students, it's game time. There's no pressure on them. Just show up as a normal day and do what they do and perform,” Brister said.

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