Rules would require tests for students
State Superintendent of Education John White spelled out accountability rules for voucher students Monday, but they will only apply to about one in four participating private and parochial schools initially.
Under the plan, schools that meet enrollment thresholds will get state scores on how they are performing on standardized tests.
Those that fail to meet state standards would be banned from accepting more voucher students.
However, White said only about 25 percent of participating schools will face that oversight initially because the bulk of voucher slots are for students in kindergarten, first and second grades, where students face no such tests.
“Because of that, roughly one fourth of participating schools will come under the consequences of the test scores,” he said.
The rules stem from a new state law that expands Louisiana’s voucher program.
Students that attended public schools rated C, D or F, and who meet family income rules, can qualify for vouchers to attend private and parochial schools.
More than 10,00 students have applied.
About 30 of 125 participating schools would be subject to annual scores at first.
The law requires White to spell out accountability rules for voucher students.
The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, or BESE, is set to hold a special meeting on Tuesday at 11 a.m. to discuss the issue.
White’s plan requires voucher students in grades 3-11 to take standardized tests like public school students, including the LEAP exam taken by fourth- and eighth-graders take.
However, unlike public school students voucher recipients will not be required to pass LEAP to move to the next grade.
Private schools will not get letter grades, which their public school counterparts do.