LEAP testing on the chopping block

by Leslie Turk

The test fourth- and eighth-graders must pass to move to fifth and ninth grades is being eliminated in the state.

The Advocate reported this week that the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program, commonly known as LEAP, will be phased out in three years, paving the way for new tests that are more closely aligned with a national movement to improve public school students' performance. Until then, however, the state's fourth- and eighth-graders must pass LEAP to qualify for advancement.

It's unclear what standards will be in effect when the revamped testing requirements begin in the 2014-15 school year, The Advocate reported.

Whether a similar rule will be in effect for passage when the new exams begin for the 2014-15 school year is up to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, which sets policies for public school students statewide.

"They will have to make that decision," Scott Norton, assistant superintendent for standards, assessments and accountability for the state Department of Education, said of BESE members.

"All that has to be revisited," he said.

The Advocate reported that the changes also end iLEAP, an annual skills test for third-, fifth-, sixth-, seventh- and ninth-graders. The paper noted that the LEAP and iLEAP issue surfaced Thursday during a meeting of the House and Senate education committees.

For more info on LEAP's requirements, read here.

Read The Advocate story here.