CPSB: Parish leads state in number of PARCC opt-outs

CPSB: Parish leads state in number of PARCC opt-outs

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - It's one of the most contentious discussions in the state, and this week students took the PARCC exam, one of the linchpins of Common Core.

Calcasieu Parish, however, led the state by a wide margin of students electing not to take the test, and district administrators are nervous of what it might lead to. You can see a school-by-school breakdown of the opt-out number HERE.

More than 15 percent of students in the parish opted out. That's the highest rate in Louisiana. In fact, of all the opt-outs in the state, Calcasieu accounted for nearly half of that total, and that has Superintendent Karl Bruchhaus concerned about what that might mean for school letter grades.

"That's concerning when it comes time to get our school performance scores in the fall. Will the state take this issue into consideration when we're one of the only ones that had this level of opt-out? ... We are very concerned about that," said Bruchhaus.

About 2,000 students in the parish decided not to take the PARCC Exam. Sixty-four percent of them came from four schools: Gillis Elementary, Moss Bluff Elementary, Moss Bluff Middle and WW Lewis Middle. Bruchhaus contends that isolates the district from the rest of Louisiana. State figures show about 99 percent of students took the test.

"Those four schools, when it comes to school performance scores, are gonna have a significant issue," he added.

Bruchhaus says that will impact the district as a whole. He also says it is too early to tell what that might mean for state and federal funding coming into the district.

When asked if some teachers or administrators played a role in encouraging students to opt-out, Bruchhaus had this to day:

"We haven't necessarily confirmed teachers had a role. We have certainly encouraged our educators to not play a role in that, because of the detrimental effect it has on the district... because we really hate to (have) involved individual students in this situation. Clearly, there's a political statement that some folks are making here. I don't think there's any denying that."

Students who missed this week's testing and wish to take it still have a chance. Testing will be offered at each school on Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24 for those students who might reconsider. As for actual scores for students who took the test this week, those won't be returned until this fall.

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