Teachers worry low ACT scores could be a warning about upcoming standardized tests

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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Louisiana’s ACT scores dipped for the third year in a row, this time the numbers sit two points lower than the national average.

State superintendent, Dr. Cade Brumely, says this decline is three years in the making.

“We just have to make sure that our policies and our practices align with helping to ensure that kids can be successful.”

Last year the average was 18.9, the year before, 19.3. These scores are troubling in more ways than one, especially for teachers in the center of it all. Not only because it points to a gap in preparation, but because it’s could be foreshadowing what’s to come. Annie McCulloch, and educator of seven years fears the worst.

“I’m not saying that it can’t turn around and be something completely different. But I think people need to understand the emotional baggage of the pandemic,” McCulloch says.

These standardized tests scores add pressure to both teachers and students. For kids it can determine what college they go to or if they pass or fail a grade. For teachers, like McCulloch, it can be an assessment of their skills

“When someone comes and says your students didn’t test well, well now it feels like your on probation.”

In the past when a year has been chaotic, schools can be lenient on whether kids pass or fail on how teachers are assessed. Larry Carter, president of Louisiana federation of teachers and school employees, says that a plan is in the works for this school year as well.

“It will be some reprieve for student’s scores not being used against them and it’s not being used as part of the teacher’s evaluation as well.”

Carter also sits on the Accountability Commission for the Louisiana Department of Education. He says it hasn’t figured exactly how the students and teachers will get around this complicated year for testing, but the blueprints are being written.

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