Louisiana education board wants to skip school letter grades

Louisiana’s top school board agreed Monday to seek federal permission to shelve the issuance of letter grades for K-12 public schools this year because of classroom upheaval sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Advocate reports the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education agreed to the request without objection. Officials believe the U.S. Department of Education will easily approve the request after signing off on similar accountability waiver requests from dozens of other states.

The grades and school performance scores are traditionally announced in November and spell out how schools fared in the previous school year, a key benchmark in Louisiana’s accountability system.

But the bulk of school performance scores and letter grades are tied to student performance on standardized math, English, science and social studies tests that students took in the spring — called LEAP 2025. State officials announced earlier this month that those scores plummeted across nearly every school district in the state during the pandemic.

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