Stakes are high for LEAP retesters

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 26, 2010

By David Vitrano


LAPLACE – St. John the Baptist Parish public school students who failed to meet the standards on this year’s standardized tests will get another chance next week.

About 187 students will be taking the three-day LEAP retest, which begins Monday. The number is smaller than in year’s past as the district had more students pass the tests this year than ever before. Which is fortunate as LEAP summer school was only held at three locations this year as part of the current concerted effort by school system administrators to reduce expenditures as much as possible.

The tests will take place at the summer school sites, which were Emily C. Watkins Elementary, East St. John Elementary and West St. John High.

The stakes are high for the fourth- and eighth-graders who are taking the test. Those who do not meet the specified promotional standard will not be promoted to the next grade.

At the same time as the LEAP retest, high school students who did not pass the GEE will also get the chance to rectify that situation, but the stakes for most of them are not quite as high. High school students begin taking the test in 10th grade, so they have multiple opportunities to do so before graduation.

Typically, students who do not pass the GEE can continue with their studies as usual, but the test must be passed before the student can be issued a Louisiana diploma. As such, it is only those students who were seniors during the 2009-10 school year who share the same high-stakes pressure as their younger counterparts.