School officials take steps to improve falling LEAP test scores
BATON ROUGE - Navigating a pandemic with distance learning has made the past year a challenge for school districts across the state.
Compared to 2019, this year's LEAP test results show a five percent drop in student achievement. Scores were rising in the spring of 2020 before COVID-19 shut down schools.
State Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley announced a $132 million plan to put remediation programs in place to help struggling students.
"There is a learning stair-step down as we move away from our schools, teachers, nutritional supports, and friends and move to fully virtual," Brumley said.
Brumley says the loss in terms of math scores was about double that of English. Virtual students lagged 15 percent behind students who were able to learn in person.
"We need to do everything in our power for the overwhelming majority of our students to keep them in person at school with those mitigation efforts," Brumley said.
Data obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit show failure rates skyrocketed during COVID. West Feliciana, an "A"-rated school district, had a two percent higher fail rate than prior years. West Baton Rouge reported less than a five percent change in failures.
Meanwhile, East Baton Rouge's numbers show a two and a half percent increase in failures from last year. Superintendent Dr. Sito Narcisse is excited about the programs set out to recover the learning loss.
"This is so large because it helps us to provide additional resources," Narcisse said. "On the ground, teachers, students, and community partners are excited because now we're going to be able to provide more opportunities for kids."