By: Michael Cooper
CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) –
More than 15 percent of the students in Calcasieu Parish opted out of the PARCC exam this week, by far the highest in the state.
The 2,031 area students who skipped the test accounted for roughly half the total opt-outs in the state.
Students in grades 3-8 this week took the PARCC exam, the standardized test attached to the controversial Common Core standards.
Common Core and PARCC have been hot topics and some parents chose to keep their children from taking the test.
Four schools in Southwest Louisiana accounted for 64 percent of the total opt-outs in Calcasieu.
Gillis Elementary, Moss Bluff Elementary, Moss Bluff Middle and W.W. Lewis Middle in Sulphur had a total of 1,299 students refuse to take the test.
Gillis led the way with a 64.7 percent opt-out rate and was followed by Moss Bluff Middle (57.1 percent), Moss Bluff Elementary (44.6 percent) and W.W. Lewis (37.9 percent).
Calcasieu school officials said it is too early to tell what, if any, effect the opt-outs will have on funding. What they do know is it will hurt the performance grades of each school and the school district as a whole.
“Zeros will be assigned to every test for every student that does not test, and those zeros will be included in the calculation of the school performance score and directly, negatively affect the school’s letter grade,” said Kirby Smith, public information officer for the Calcasieu Parish School Board. “It is not clear to me if that will include funding, but, as this policy stands today, schools will be penalized for the opt-out zeros.”
Officials said students who missed the PARCC test for any reason can make the test up at their schools Monday-Tuesday, March 23-24.
In Jeff Davis Parish, more than 99 percent of the students took the exam. Of the 2,498 third through eighth graders in the parish, only 16 skipped the exam.
|SCHOOL||TOTAL STUDENTS||NUMBER OF OPT-OUTS||PERCENTAGE OF NON-PARTICIPANTS|
|Bell City (3-5)||158||2||1.3%|
|College Oaks Elementary||140||2||1.4%|
|T.S. Cooley Elementary||151||0||0.0%|
|Cypress Cove Elementary||240||34||14.2%|
|W.T. Henning Elementary||172||19||11.0%|
|Henry Heights Elementary||140||0||0.0%|
|Kaufman, M.J. Elementary||141||3||2.1%|
|Key, E.K. Elementary||216||33||15.3%|
|Moss Bluff Elementary||453||202||44.6%|
|Oak Park Elementary||166||1||0.6%|
|Prien Lake Elementary||292||15||5.1%|
|St. John Elementary||410||27||6.6%|
|Vincent, R.W. Elementary||173||21||12.1%|
|Watkins, T.H. Elementary||81||0||0.0%|
|Watson, J.I. (3-5)||248||6||2.4%|
|Watson, Pearl Elementary||131||0||0.0%|
|Western Heights Elementary||131||20||15.3%|
|Wilson, Ralph Elementary||69||0||0.0%|
|Arnett, S.P. Middle||415||55||13.3%|
|Lewis, W.W. Middle||868||329||37.9%|
|Moss Bluff Middle||921||526||57.1%|
|Oak Park Middle||480||3||0.6%|
|Watson, J.L. (6-8)||384||25||6.5%|
|Welsh, S.J. Middle||1,203||61||5.1%|
|White, F.K. Middle||576||35||6.1%|
|All Calcasieu elementary schools||7,002||886||12.7%|
|All Calcasieu middle schools||6,454||1,146||17.8%|
|All Calcasieu schools||13,456||2,032||15.1%|
|All state schools||315,710||—–||99.0%|