Monday, Oct. 7 the monthly Webster Parish School Board meeting took place. One of the first items on the agenda was to award Mrs. Marty Kilgore, Staff Development Facilitator at the Central Office, with Employee of the Month. “She has been described by her coworkers as being dependable, someone who loves to work, and someone who enjoys what she is doing at work and will stay until the task has been completed, no matter how long that takes,” said a representative of Taylor & Sons who presented Mrs. Kilgore with the award.
On the same note, recognition was given to Whitney Cate who was awarded a spot in the LDOE/Louisiana Career and Technical Education Leadership Academy. “The CTE Leadership Academy was founded last year. A cohort was started just for Louisiana people in jumpstart and career technical education to come together, learn more, and research,” said Cate.
Later during the meeting Superintendent of the School Board, Johnny Rowland took some time to address the curriculum that is in the Leap Test for Grade Three Social Studies. “You know as we are all anxiously awaiting school performance scores, we spend an awful lot of time looking at our data and looking for ways to improve student achievement, especially on these tests they must take.”
He then went on to talk about their current focus on ELA and Math scores, as well as providing an explanation as to why the students of Louisiana may be under performing in Social Studies.
“We invest so much into ELA and Math for obvious reasons, the scores are double weighted, but Social Studies is something that is near and dear to my heart because I am a Social Studies major. Those of us that have been in education for a while, you know in the good old days of the GEE and the EOC which came later, we could just about count on our Social Studies scores being decent in our schools, if not good. So when I saw the results of our Social Studies scores parish-wide I was disappointed, and then I saw that they were disappointing statewide, and I said ‘what is going on with social studies.’ How in the world can an ELA or Math score be higher than a Social Studies score? Well there’s a reason it’s that way,” said Rowland.
Rowland essentially laid out that these children in the third grade, eight years old, are asked to read multiple passages and then answer through the form of multiple select. He was clear in explaining that this is not multiple-choice, it is a multiple select, where one or multiple answers may be correct. The instructions for the questions were also noted as using subjective language such as “choose the answer that best explains.” They even have the children perform written response questions for this test as well.
“I was thinking back to my first and second-grade year, and I remember how we learned to read. See Mark run. Go Spot go. We’re a long way from that right here,” said Rowland,
“It highlights again the importance of early childhood education and having these students ready.”