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

Thursday, June 28, 2007

NAACP Will March Saturday Against LEAP Testing

In 2000 Louisiana became the first state in the Union to use once-a-year tests in reading and math to make promotion decisions in the elementary school. Fourth and eighth graders have to pass them both to be promoted. In the Title I school I was studying in 2000 (see PDF Full Text), 70% of the fourth graders were failed that first year. Now seven years later the failure rate in Title I schools ranges from 40 to 60 percent each year.

The Louisiana NAACP has decided to act. One can hope that the New York City NAACP might give them some support, particularly since Bloomberg has adopted the same guaranteed failure program for the poor in NYC.
The Louisiana NAACP is calling on parents and interested people to come to the State Capitol Saturday morning in protest of the state's new school testing requirements.

Ernest Johnson, president of the Louisiana National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, says that the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education recently made it a requirement that students pass standardized tests in order for them to move on to the next grade, regardless of how they did with their school grades.

In the past, Johnson says there were stipulations that allowed students who failed the tests to go to summer school and continue to the next grade if they met the standard at some point during the year.

Now, students who don't pass the tests during summer schools will not be allowed to continue to the next grade.

Johnson says the NAACP discussed its concerns with BESE and asked for the promotion requirement to be suspended for this year. He said it didn't get a favorable reaction.
Johnson says that with this requirement, BESE has gone beyond its administrative powers.
To raise awareness about the issue, the NAACP will hold a march and rally starting at 9 a-m Saturday at the Governor's Mansion.

Johnson says the group will then march to the State Capitol to draw attention to the fact that there is no state law that mandates that the tests be tied to promotion to the next grade or graduation.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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