In October 2015, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) contracted WestEd’s Standards, Assessment, and Accountability Services program to develop large-scale social studies assessments for the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) in grades 3–8, and for U.S. History end of course. The assessments are aligned to the Louisiana Student Standards and are constructed to evaluate statewide student performance in social studies.
The principle goal of the assessments is to determine the degree to which students have learned the content and skills found in the Louisiana Student Standards for social studies in grades 3–8, and U.S. History end of course. Results from the assessments are intended for use in measuring individual student performance and school performance.
The assessments are administered primarily on paper in grades 3 and 4, and primarily online in grades 5–8 and high school. The assessments measure student performance with a wide range of item types, including selected-response items, multiple-select items, technology-enhanced items, and constructed-response items. Most items are associated with specific primary and secondary sources. They are developed to measure student performance across five achievement levels. Items are reviewed and approved by the LDOE and a committee of state teachers, then field tested. After field testing, item data is reviewed and items are selected for operational assessments.