Standardized testing in schools keeps getting harder

LOUISIANA (KNOE) - School officials like Union Parish Superintendent George Cannon are studying for the ultimate test.

They have to get students ready for standardized testing.

"You don't like it in the sense that it's very uncomfortable, but at the same time it's what the law is, and you work to make it happen," Cannon said.

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has been making the test a little harder every year, but its the hardest of all this year.

Board member Gary Jones said its designed to bring the state's overall testing level from basic to mastery by 2025.

"We have spent a million dollars literally over the last few years to provide guides and resources for teachers and training," Jones said.

According to a study by EducationWeek.org, Louisiana ranks 49th in the country for public school achievement.

Jones hopes harder tests will improve that ranking and make Louisiana student's more competitive.

Cannon said it could be hard to play catch up.

"At the time if Louisiana is doing that, so are all the other states too. They're not staying where they were," Cannon said.

The superintendents we spoke with all agree they want the best for students, but fear school performances will either drop or not improve at all. But Jones said the board has a plan to offset that fear.

"We put a growth scale factor in there so that schools that are showing growth will get rewarded for that. That's something they've never had before," Jones said.

Despite how hard it might be, Cannon said students in Union Parish are ready for the big day.

"I try to keep kids calm as possible. Let them know they can do it. And teachers get ready to prepare them for it and when the test scores come in your hope for the best," Cannon said.

Cannon expects test scores to come back earlier this year, which will give school's enough time to prepare for next year.