"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

LEAP and the 2-Star State

Since 1999 Louisiana has been using the Louisiana Education Assessment Program to terrorize poor children in the state, to teach them to accept their failure at an early age, and to abandon hope for anything different. In the meantime the prison and parole industry in the state has been ramped up to receive those failures as they approach young adulthood with years of despair and rage built up as a result of being blamed for their own failure. What kind of social cauldron is being heated by this educational genocide, only time will tell. It will certainly provide a never-ending video stream of incarcerated humanity for the MSNBC's of the modern police state.

The 4th graders at Alpha Elementary are getting ready this morning for another jolt of failure. In 2000 when I started my research there, 70% of 4th graders were held back for not passing the LEAP. This year only 35% of them will fail. Quite a leap, yes. After 7 years of non-stop testing, Alpha's school performance score hovers near 75, which makes them a 1-Star school in a 2-Star state.

What will Alpha need to do by 2014, along with the rest of the public schools in the State? They must reach 120. COL! (crying out loud). What my research has shown without question is that this kind of labeling could have been accomplished without all the expense of testing. These failure lists could have been just as easily generated by checking family income and the free and reduced-price lunch rolls. But then that would not have personalized the failure that only individual testing can accomplish for the brown, the black, and the other poor. From a state press release carried by KFOL:
School districts in Louisiana are also given DPS labels or “Stars” annually, indicating their level of performances. The chart below defines each label.

Label DPS Ranges
Five Stars 140.0 and above
Four Stars 120.0 – 139.9
Three Stars 100.0 – 119.9
Two Stars 80.0 – 99.9
One Star 60.0 – 79.9
Academically Unacceptable Below 60.0

Overall, the state received a label of Two Stars.

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