Louisiana education leaders to analyze an alternative to current graduation test requirements

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BATON ROUGE, LA (PREPROAD) — Changes may be made for Louisiana K-12 students learning English and for any student who may need an alternative graduation path.

Potential changes will be implemented to ensure that all young learners receive the best possible preparation for educational and professional endeavors after secondary school.

During the week of April 17, it was Louisiana Department of Education foot Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, or BESE, With an initial policy brief on accountability and graduation requirements for K-12 learners of English in the state.

The information provided was in relation to a BESE proposal originally heard in March. The proposal detailed an alternative path to graduation for learners of English that would eliminate the requirement for students to pass the standardized LEAP exam.

during Tuesday, April 19 meeting With BESE, representatives from various Louisiana schools explained why they support an alternative graduation path that would remove the LEAP requirement.

One educator from the Einstein Charter Schools of New Orleans East said, “Some of these students come from foreign countries late in high school and they come with goals. They want an education. They’ve made the journey to be here for their education and it’s frustrating that we can’t give it to them.” It’s frustrating when we say, “You have to pass this LEAP and these social studies that you don’t know about.” And you have to make it through within a year. This is the only way to get a diploma and continue your education. ”

Another high school English instructor from the Calcasieu Parish School District shared her thoughts, saying, “Louisiana currently has the lowest graduation rate for English learners in the country.”

She added that most teachers agree that it takes seven years to master the language.

“LEAP does not separate content proficiency from language proficiency and is therefore not a reliable measure of either,” the ESL instructor continued. “Students who get to grade 7 or later don’t have seven years to become proficient through their K-12 education. We ask these students to challenge science and pass an exam for which their brains are not prepared.”

BESE has tasked LDOE with the responsibility of establishing a task force to identify the obstacles faced by young learners of English and to develop strategies to help them succeed.

in the direction of BESE, LDOE also creates a series of standard procedures It is to be followed if any Louisiana student, English Learner or not, needs to issue an appeal in connection with graduation test requirements.

However, this will not eliminate the general requirement for high school students to pass the LEAP.

The standard procedure that the LDOE must establish will be modeled after the examples from Texas and New Jersey. BESE said policy recommendations will be submitted for consideration during its meetings in June.

click here To view the policy brief reviewed by BESE this week.