Parental concerns about federally mandated tests and Common Core State Standards continues to be on the rise. Everyday, my inboxes and social media feeds are clogged with questions about the fast approaching Louisiana state assessment. Let me set the record straight. 2016 is, indeed, a LEAP year. February, in fact, had twenty-nine days this year; however, any other reference to 2016 being a LEAP year is pure deceit and intended to confuse. A tremendous amount of incorrect information is floating around, and it can easily be determined that this is not only coming from the state level, but also the district, school and classroom. This is troubling.
There was a time when the faculty and administration of a local public school was comprised of members of the local community. The people who taught your children, and ran their school, were the very same people that you sat next to in church, bumped into at the grocery store and ate hotdogs with at the ballpark. These days, this type of relationship between community and school is a rarity.
In the business world, it is well understood that leaders lead by example; good, or bad. Same thing goes for education, whether you believe it is a business, or not. Louisiana currently has a superintendent of education who has no problem misrepresenting information, particularly data. We know this because he has done so in legislative committees on countless occasions. It is common knowledge among legislators that he has difficulty with the truth. It isn’t surprising that district leaders and school personnel have difficulty with truth, as well. Now, granted, I know that some of these perpetrators are misinformed. Some are actually informed, but are bullied into complying with the threat of their job. I firmly believe that this would not be as rampant if our faculty and administration were still part of our communities.
The following information is “factual” and intended to set the record straight. It has been pulled from the LDOE website, and as you will see, is cleverly designed to deceive. The image below is cropped from this document, Final Louisiana Terms of Legislative Solution, which outlines what was decided in the “Great Compromise of 2015.”
Notice that, by law, the test can have up to 49% PARCC questions. Also worth noting, Louisiana will not participate in PARCC consortium. Well, Louisiana didn’t participate last year, either. PARCC questions are available to purchase without being a member of the consortium.
The next two images are taken from LDOE’s plan to transition from PARCC to LEAP 2025.
While it is true that LDOE has completed its review of the standards, the process is not complete. BESE has accepted the standards presented; however, they must still be accepted by both the House and Senate Education committees, and then ultimately accepted, or vetoed by the governor.
You may have noticed in the second image, there is a link to the Louisiana Current Standards. What do you think you’ll find? Well, its no surprise. It is the Common Core State Standards in a new format with all references to Common Core removed. Check out 4th Grade Math.
Here’s the bottom line, parents, the 2016 LEAP assessment is essentially the same as the PARCC assessment given in 2015. The entire assessment campaign has been designed to trick you into thinking that the toxic things such as Common Core and PARCC are gone. They are not. If you had a problem with your child taking the PARCC test, last year, then there is no reason to be okay with it, this year.