St. John struggles with LEAP

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2006

Coburn ‘pleased but saddened’ at spring results


Staff Reporter

ST. JOHN – The Louisiana Department of Education released school-by-school results Friday for last spring’s LEAP and GEE tests with some St. John schools showing marked improvement and some falling slightly behind.

Students take the LEAP in the fourth and eighth grades and the GEE in the 10th and 11th grades. LEAP is used to determine whether students advance to the fifth and ninth grades while the GEE or Graduation Exit Exam determines whether students are eligible to graduate from high school.

St. John Superintendent Michael Coburn was pleased and saddened at the same time by the scores due to some schools showing significant gains while some actually fell behind their previous years passing rate.

&#8220We had some schools improve quite a bit and we need to get all of our schools to follow their lead,” Coburn said.

Leon Godchaux was one of the schools that made major leaps in their passing rates improving their Grade 8 English LEAP approaching basic or above scores more than 20 percent. Godchaux also nearly doubled the percentage of students scoring approaching basic or above in math jumping from forty-eight to ninety percent. Godchaux also improved in science and social studies.

West St. John High School improved in both the math and science portions of the GEE, with roughly twenty percent more students than in 2005 scoring approaching basic or above.

Garyville/Mt. Airy Magnet school eighth graders showed some decline from the previous years LEAP scores in English and Science dropping 10 percent in English and 16 percent in science.

LaPlace Elementary went from 92 percent in 2005 to 79 percent in 2006 scoring approaching basic or above in math. Although some St. John schools took a dip in scores, the overall result was encouraging, according to Louisiana State Superintendent of education Cecil J. Picard in what he called &#8220a recalibration year for Louisiana.”

&#8220Given the disruption caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, these scores are excellent,” Picard said. &#8220My message to our students, parents, teachers and educational leaders is keep up the good work and don’t give up. We will recover, we will rebuild and we will do it through education.”

All individual school scores can be obtained through the LDOE website at