Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Finally, We Get the PARCC Test Averages for the State!

The following is the data finally released by the LDOE on the raw score averages for the 12 PARCC like tests given in the Spring of 2015. No wonder it practically took an act of the Legislature to finally get the scores released. These are worst average scores I have ever seen on a major group of tests! Go to this link at Louisiana Believes to get the original document grudgingly produced by John White.

Breaking News! Reporter Bonnie Bolden of the Monroe Newsstar published this story (Click here) today explaining why our group of 33 citizens is requesting the PARCC data that has been withheld from the public until now. 

Does anyone believe that the public would have ever gotten to see the real results of the PARCC testing if the District Superintendents had not insisted on getting the raw scores and if our group of 32 citizens (which included key legislators and 4 BESE members) had not demanded the real PARCC data using a formal public records request?

Note: The LDOE staff, still intent on suppressing critical information, did not calculate the average percentage of correct answers or average percentage scores produced for each test, so I did it for them.


Mean Raw Score
Total Points Possible
State Average percent correct






Average all tests

Superintendent White said these scores would be "sobering". I would instead characterize these average raw scores as Shocking! My opinion is that these terrible scores are not the fault of the teachers or the students. I think they are the fault of poorly designed standards measured by an extremely poorly designed test.

Each year all teachers in Louisiana are required to set learning targets for each of their classes. These must be measurable results that the teacher will test at the end of the course. I would assume that any teacher who set a learning target of 38% average score on the final test would probably get fired on the spot for having the nerve to set such a ridiculously low average score as a learning target. No wait, we had better not do that because after the recent VAM impact on our teacher work force, we don't really have anyone to replace them with.

Would you give a passing grade to a student who scored 46.7% on the final 8th grade English test?

What about a student who scored 27.5% on the final 8th grade math test?

Yet John White is sure to look at the BESE members with a straight face next Tuesday and propose that BESE adopt somewhat similar scores as cut scores as the ones in the chart above for an achievement level of "Basic". 

But to add insult to injury, White will first convert all of these extremely low percentage scores on the state PARCC-like tests to the magical "scale scores". You see, by doing this, a score of 38.1% can magically become 725 points out of a possible 850 points. Now that doesn't look so bad anymore, now does it?

This confusing point system, assigning students scores running between 650 to 850 was concocted by the PARCC consortium, probably as a way of sugar coating the very bitter pill of the PARCC test results. Remember what I have told you before in this blog. Even if a student makes a flat zero, the PARCC consortium scheme gives him/her 650 points. That's just to keep the parents from grabbing pitchforks and surrounding the Claiborne building!

But for the first time ever, now parents will actually be able to see that when a student receives a  seemingly respectable score of 725 on the 8th grade math test, he/she may have gotten only 27.5% of the answers right. Or maybe White will pick a cut score higher than 27.5% (which was the average percent correct for the 25,000 plus students who took that math test). But that would mean that more than half would get a failing score. We have no idea what cut score White will recommend next Tuesday to BESE for the minimum raw score for the Basic level of performance. But White does not want BESE members lowering his idea of the high bar that he proposes to set for our students. He warned them not to try to lower standards in this article by his friend Will Sentell. “However, if they try to lower expectations, then I think it would say something very sad about the direction of our state,” he said.

You see, lowering the bar is really White's specialty. He has done it in secret in the last two years without informing or including the BESE members. Just take a few minutes to review the results of my public records requests described here, here, and here.

Now White will be quick to explain that his lowering of raw cut scores was not a lowering of standards but simply a legitimate adjustment because of more difficult test forms. Maybe this time after all the stalling and spinning the testing issue,  some citizens will begin to question his credibility.

 I guess in the past two years White did not want to bother BESE members with minor decisions like setting testing standards. But this time because of the amended law, they will be asked to be part of White's phony "rigor" and fake "high standards" and will be asked to help "raise the bar". . . . in the wrong direction.

BESE has been placed in a "no win" situation. This recent PARCC-like test is obviously just a lot of very expensive garbage. The Louisiana Legislature is sure to realize by the next session that the Common Core and its defective tests were wrong for our students and will probably act to trash it. Why torture our students and teachers one more year? Declare the test results null and void and for once just let our teachers teach. They know how to teach, and are just praying for one year of real teaching instead of prepping students for a test that has no credibility!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Revised BESE Candidates Forum

Come One, Come All to Leaders With Vision BESE Board Candidates Forum
Parents, Teachers, and Citizens concerned about our schools are invited to attend LWVision's BESE Forumon Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 at 6:00 PM.October 24, 2015 is a crucial election for Education in Louisiana.  The course which public schools will 
take in the future will be decided by the votes you cast on October 24, 2015.

On Tuesday, October 6th, the doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for the Leaders With Vision BESE Board 
Candidates Forum at the Baton Rouge Community College, Louisiana Bldg (#3 on BRCC map),Board room.

The forum will begin promptly at 6 p.m.     Candidates for District 6 & 8 will be in attendance.

Candidates attending in District 6 are:  
Kathy Edmonston, 
Jason Engen, 
Jason France, 
Luree LeJeune Taylor

Candidates attending in District 8 are:
Carolyn Hill, 
Jada Lewis

Questioning the candidates will be a knowledge panel of people with hands on experience 
in the Elementary and Secondary Education field.
Representing the various perspectives as identified are:

1) for Parents: Belinda Davis;                                    
2) for Teachers: Mary Washington;                          
3) Early Childhood Education: Sherry Guarisco;
4) Charter Schools: Nancy Roberts.                         

The forum is free and open to the public.

For more information about the forum and/or the
Leaders With Vision organization, go to  or call 225/927-2255

Kindly share this email with your family, friends, and business associates.  LA needs informed voters.