St. James excels in math on LEAP and GEE

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 20, 2008

LUTCHER—While LEAP and GEE scores in St. James Parish were not as consistently good as those in St. Charles, students there did well on the tests and in many cases surpassed their peers down the river.

“In general, it looks like our scores are up across the board. We continue to experience growth,” said St. James Parish Superintendent Dr. Alonzo “Lonnie” Luce.

Luce added, however, that there are some concerns with the scores of St. James Parish eighth-graders.

He said that the somewhat lower scores at that grade level might stem from the fact that St. James has many overage students at the seventh and eighth grade levels. To help remedy this situation, the district plans to create accelerated programs aimed at moving kids into the proper grade levels.

Seventy-eight percent of St. James fourth-graders passed the LEAP compared to 76 percent statewide. Scores at the Mastery level in English, however, were 6 percent lower than the rest of the state.

Problems in the English portion of the test were evident in the results of the GEE as well.

In general, students in St. James did well on the GEE, in many cases better than those in St. Charles. In math, for example, 84 percent of St. James students scored at the Basic level or above compared to 74 percent in St. Charles Parish and 65 percent statewide.

In fact, according to Dr. Luce, tenth-graders taking the GEE test had the second-highest math scores in the state.

In English, however, only 85 percent of students scored at the Approaching Basic level or above. While this is higher than the statewide percentage of 83, this is significant because to pass the GEE one must score at least at the Approaching Basic level in both math and English. Therefore, if this score were higher, the percentage of students in St. James passing the GEE may have surpassed even that of St. Charles. As it stands, that percentage means that at most 85 percent of students in St. James passed the GEE this spring.