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Louisiana Department of Education Releases Information on PARCC Scores

On September 17, Louisiana Department of Education Superintendent, John White, met with the Superintendent’s Advisory Council to discuss the upcoming release of PARCC test scores to school districts in Louisiana. During the meeting, John White indicated that although raw scores from the PARCC test are available now, detailed score reports with information meaningful to teachers and parents will not be released until early November. The Department of Education is currently undergoing a process that will correlate a student’s raw score to one of five overall performance categories: Unsatisfactory, Approaching Basic, Basic, Mastery, and Advanced. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will consider adopting the performance ranges at its October 13 meeting. John White also said that “because the cut scores align with National Assessment of Educational Progress cut scores, [scores determining performance ranges] results from the test will be comparable with those in other states.” Superintendent White also notified superintendents in a follow-up communication that the LDOE would send districts the raw scores for PARCC when they become available. While the raw score data will not be meaningful to teachers or parents, as there is as yet no correlation to particular standards or to the difficulty of particular questions, districts could use the data internally to make curricular decisions.

In the state’s accountability system for determining school performance scores, a score of Basic on the PARCC test earns a school 100 points, a score of Mastery earns 125 points and a score of Advanced earns 150 points. Superintendent White also indicated that there would be “relative stability” in student performance on the test and said that “because the state is in a period of transition, the overall number of “A” letter grades [for schools], for example, can only go up; [they] cannot go down.”  Once students have completed the spring 2016 exams and the state has a second year of baseline data, the LDOE will establish a progression for steady improvement in scores to reach the department’s 2025 goal “when an A-rated school will average ‘mastery’ performance rather than ‘basic’ performance.”

Click here for two examples of what PARCC score reports might look like when they are released in November.