LEAP Test Scores to be Revealed Today

Reported by: Associated Press

Public school districts around Louisiana learn today (Tuesday) how their students did on the standardized tests that fourth- and eighth-graders must pass to be promoted and that high-schoolers must pass to graduate.

The results, combined with standardized test scores expected for other grade levels later this week, will be a factor in whether more poorly performing schools or districts will eventually be taken over by the state.

They also could play into the debate over proposals for a limited "voucher" backed by Governor Bobby Jindal that would allow some New Orleans students to attend private school at public expense. Continued poor performance among New Orleans public school students could blunt an argument put forth by opponents of that plan: that the city's education system, vastly revamped since Hurricane Katrina, should be given a chance to work.

Both of the Legislature's education committees went on record last week in support of the Jindal-backed voucher program that would aid up to 1,500 public school students from low-income families. The program would be available to students entering kindergarten through third grade. Jindal's administration has proposed spending up to $10 million on it in the coming school year.

Other than a limited voucher program for preschoolers, the state has resisted vouchers.