Talking Points of EBR Schools Cannot Mask Reality of Scores

BATON ROUGE — Once again, the “talking points” of government agencies have come face-to-face with reality.
In this case, the Louisiana Department of Education has released test scores for school systems across the state.  Yet, despite a dismal performance by students in the East Baton Rouge Parish school system, the public relations department of the school system claimed the system made “great gains.”
In fact, only 62 percent of East Baton Rouge Parish student “passed” the state’s LEAP and iLEAP exams, while 38 percent failed.  But, actually, the results were much worse than that, because these numbers do not include the test results from the “failing” schools that have been taken away from the East Baton Rouge system by the state.  These results — and a 38 percent failure rate in grades three through eight — are from the parish’s “successful” schools.
The results were much different at two so-called “breakaway” school districts — Zachary and Central — which are now ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the state respectively.
In Zachary, only 52 percent of the students are white, but the black students in Zachary out-perform white students in many parishes, such as Jefferson.
In Central, 58 percent of the students are in the free or reduced lunch program.
Test scores in the public schools often have far-reaching consequences for communities, as families make decisions about where to buy a home and make plans for their future.

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