By CHRISSY SMITH
Tammany West News
COVINGTON – Students in St. Tammany Parish are showing improvements in all four test subjects of English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies through the iLEAP and LEAP tests, even with the tougher testing that has been put in place.
St. Tammany Parish is ranked eighth in the state as the top performing district ranked according to overall basic and above percentiles. In the spring of 2009, St. Tammany Parish had 78 percent of students who were at the basic and above levels, and this year, the parish is at 81 percent.
The percentage of Louisiana students scoring at the basic level or above on tests of four subjects grew one point in grades 3-8, with 69 percent of students testing at basic or above. This reduces the number of students performing below their grade level by nearly 5,000 and marks a nine percent increase in students above grade level statewide since 2008. Over that time, 67 districts of 70 total have made improvements.
In St. Tammany Parish, the percentage of students at the basic level was at least 41 percent or higher for third through eighth graders. The Mastery division in St. Tammany Parish was above average for grades three through eight, holding at least a 20 percent for most grades.
This year’s tests are the first in a series of annual assessments that are gradually increasing in rigor, so that Louisiana’s students and schools are held to a standard equal to students nationally. On more difficult writing questions this year, students were challenged, seeing drops in scores when compared to results on the previous year’s writing questions.
In St. Tammany Parish, there was a 12 percent dip in the number of students who did well on the composition portion of their test. There was an eight percent drop on the style part of the exam. However, that number is steady with the drop in the rest of the parishes around the state.