La. students and schools improve on 2021-22 LEAP tests

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 9:02 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - According to the Louisiana Dept. of Education, the 2021-2022 LEAP scores show strong student growth across a wide range of grade levels and school systems. Students in grades third through eighth improved by three points in both math and English. A total of 80 percent of state school systems improved when compared to the 2020-2021 LEAP scores.

State Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley said progress is a true testament to the dedication of state educators, but there is still work to do before schools and education in the state fully recovers from the impacts over the last two years.

Those impacts include the COVID pandemic and two major hurricanes to hit the state.

“We’re going to focus on going back to the basics in terms of literacy instruction, phonics really matters, teaching kids how to break words apart and put them back together really matters. We want to make sure we continue to think about transformation of our high schools and how we can do better there, elevate the teaching profession, making sure we have a school that fits for every family in our state,” said Brumley. “So we have plenty of work to do.”

Dr. Brumley said he’s proud of the way the educational community rallied and stepped up to the call to continue educating through those tough times.

Jefferson Parish educators have a reason to celebrate after being named a top school district for one-year growth based on LEAP scores-- with a three percentage point growth compared to the 2020-2021 school year.

And five Jefferson Parish schools made the top ten list of schools for 2022 LEAP performance scores: Metairie Academy for Advanced Studies, Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies, Patrick F. Taylor Science and Tech Academy, Airline Park Academy for Advanced Studies, and Gretna No.2 Academy for Advanced Studies.

“It’s really good to see our work being validated,” said Dr. James Gray, Supt. of Jefferson Parish schools. “It’s one thing to put in all the effort and not knowing what the outcome is going to be, but when you put in that level of commitment and keep kids as the number one focus, then it really does feel good when you see the outcomes are matching the efforts that we’re putting in.”

Other parishes in the Fox 8 viewing area are also celebrating wins when it comes to LEAP score improvements, especially parishes that were hit hard by Hurricane Ida.

St. Charles Parish, Plaquemines Parish, St. Tammany Parish and Lafourche Parish all made the top ten list of school districts with outstanding LEAP performance scores.

“We did the best that we could. We put our schools back together, we shuffled students from one campus to another. But our entire community rallied around the school system, and we’re just very proud of the results,” said Jarod Martin, Supt. of Lafourche Parish Schools. “Very optimistic about where we go from here.”

Martin said many of the schools in Lafourche were severely damaged by Hurricane Ida. Students had shortened work weeks, and even today, many students, teachers and faculty are still recovering from the storm.

State Supt. Dr. Brumley said much of the LEAP score improvement is due to prioritizing in-person learning versus virtual learning. For the 2021-2022 school year, 98 percent of test takers were full-time in-person students, compared to the year before where only 57 percent of students were in the classroom due to COVID.

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