The first glimpse of how Louisiana students fared on Common Core tests will be Oct. 12, state Superintendent of Education John White said Monday.
Those statewide results will show how about 320,000 students did on the exams in March and May, and eventually how they compare with their peers in other states.
Students will be placed in one of five categories: advanced, mastery, basic, approaching basic and unsatisfactory.
Once 10 other states and the District of Columbia release their own results, comparisons will be possible on the math, reading and writing assessments.
White made his comments on the same day state Department of Education officials began sharing preliminary results of the tests with roughly half of the state’s 70 local school superintendents.
Some of those local leaders, including the president of the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents, have complained that they need access to the results now to help teachers help students.
But White said the only results being shared include how many questions students answered correctly of the total, without any scaling that sheds light on how they performed overall.
“We do not have information that is even close to a final score for students,” he told reporters.
Students in grades three through eight took the tests.
The issue of how to handle the release of the scores has been swirling for weeks.
It sparked debate earlier this month at a meeting of the Superintendents’ Advisory Council, and has escalated since then.
White on Monday repeated his view that plans on how to release results of the exam were set 11 months ago, and the top priority should be on delivering clear data to students, their families and schools.
That is scheduled for Nov. 9-13.
“We are at the outset of the process, and we have taken the unprecedented step of sharing information that is highly preliminary,” White said.
He said it is “curious” that some superintendents are raising questions about the rollout “at the eleventh hour of a process announced a year ago.”
Hollis Milton, who is president of the superintendents’ group, said the key objection of local educators is that the results have been at the state Department of Education since July.
“That is where the big struggle is, that he has had this data for several months and nobody knew that,” said Milton, who is superintendent of the highly-rated West Feliciana Parish school system.
White said test scoring ended in September, and a department timeline said the results were received this month from Data Recognition Corp.
Milton said preliminary results for his district that White shared on Monday will aid the system, including in remedial work for students.
How students did on the exams, White said, will be sobering.
“The fact is we have a long way to go to be competitive with other states,” he said previously.
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