Skip to content

Louisiana’s LEAP 2025 Testing: Don’t Let ‘Em Tell You It’s “for the Workforce.”

May 8, 2018

Like many public schools across the nation, our school is in the throes of testing season– a season that grows longer with the passing years. However, in April and May, state-mandated standardized testing is particularly disruptive, and this year, the new high school tests, included in a testing portfolio called LEAP 2025, are notably longer than past tests. (For more on LEAP 2025, see this LEAP 2025 practice test webinar for teachers, or peruse these LEAP 2025 practice tests.)

For more than one high school subject, one day of LEAP 2025 testing is longer than one day of my written comps was for my doctoral degree in research and statistics.

So, why all of this testing? Well, according to the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE), its to equip Louisiana students for the Louisiana workforce of the future.

From a LDOE slide presentation entitled, “LEAP 2025 Vision: The Need to Transition” (note the comment about reduced test time):

Most jobs in Louisiana require education after high school, primarily at a four- or two-year college or university, technical, or community college. This is a change from jobs of generations past.

In 2011, 28 percent of the Louisiana workforce had a two- or four-year degree. To meet Louisiana’s future job needs, that number must double. In part this gap is because Louisiana’s academic expectations do not correspond with the job need.

Thus, Louisiana is committed to raising expectations for students by…
• Building a more cohesive K-12 assessment system while reducing testing time

Gotta consider keeping up with *the workforce.* Or, in Louisiana’s case, the workforce facade.

Let’s pick apart the above statements about “most jobs in Louisiana” and the need for 56 percent of the Louisiana workforce (i.e., the 28 percent that “must double”) concerning possessing two- or four-year degrees.

According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) 2024 job market projections by education, in 2024, Louisiana is projected to have 2,093,460 jobs.

Of that number, 1,051,410, or 50 percent, are jobs that require education after high school. Included in this number are jobs that require 1) postsecondary, non-degree certifications, 2) some college but no degree, 3) associate degrees, and 4) bachelor degrees.

Thus, LDOE’s assertion that “most jobs in Louisiana require education after high school” is not projected to be true for 2024, or for many of the high school students being subjected to LEAP 2025 in 2018. (Consider that a high school freshman in 2018 would graduate on time in 2021 and would complete a two-year postsecondary program in 2023.)

LEAP 2025 workforce justification Strike One.

Let’s now consider the LDOE assertion that the percentage of the Louisiana workforce with two- or four-year degrees “must double” from the 28 percent it was in 2011.

According to LWC, the 2024 projected number of Louisiana jobs requiring a two- or four-year degree is 447,520:

21 percent.

If LDOE is pushing for 56 percent of Louisiana graduates to earn two- or four-year degrees, then LDOE is effectively preparing these students to either 1) be unemployed/underemployed Louisiana residents or 2) leave Louisiana and contribute to the economies of other states.

LEAP 2025 workforce justification Strike Two.

So, in what areas is “college and career ready,” test-smothered Louisiana’s job market expanding? To answer that question, let’s consider another enlightening component of Louisiana workforce projections: LWC’s listing of the top 25 occupations adding the most jobs annually from 2015 to 2024.

Here they are, including number of openings annually and educational requirements.

Note that only one requires a two-year degree, and only two require a four-year degree…

…one of which is elementary school teacher.

 

Louisiana’s Top 25 Occupations Adding the Most Jobs

  1. Cashier (3,470 annual openings; HS diploma or equivalent)
  2. Retail salespersons (2,880 annual openings; HS diploma or equivalent)
  3. Waiters and waitresses (2,110 annual openings; less than HS)
  4. Registered nurses (1,850 annual openings; associate degree)
  5. Laborers and freight, stock and material movers (1,630 annual openings; less than HS)
  6. Food preparation workers (1,440 annual openings; less than HS)
  7. Combined food prep and serving (1,400 annual openings; less than HS)
  8. Personal care aides (1,150 annual openings; less than HS)
  9. General and operations managers (1,050 annual openings; bachelor degree)
  10. Office clerks, general (1,000 annual openings; HS diploma or equivalent)
  11. Maintenance and repair workers, general (970 annual openings; HS diploma or equivalent)
  12. Stock clerks and order fillers (900 annual openings; HS diploma or equivalent)
  13. Nursing assistants (870 annual openings; postsecondary non-degree cert)
  14. Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses (860 annual openings; postsecondary non-degree cert)
  15. Janitor and cleaners except maids and housekeeping (860 annual openings; less than HS)
  16. First-line supervisors of retails sales workers (810 annual openings; postsecondary non-degree cert)
  17. First-line supervisors of food prep and serving workers (780 annual openings; postsecondary non-degree cert)
  18. Customer service reps (760 annual openings; postsecondary non-degree cert)
  19. Cooks, restaurant (720 annual openings; postsecondary non-degree cert)
  20. Elementary school teachers, except special education (690 annual openings; bachelor degree)
  21. Sales reps, wholesale and manufacturing, except tech/sci products (650 annual openings; postsecondary non-degree cert)
  22. Carpenters (610 annual openings; postsecondary non-degree cert)
  23. Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers (610 annual openings; postsecondary non-degree cert)
  24. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (610 annual openings; postsecondary non-degree cert)
  25. Maids and housekeeping cleaners (570 annual openings; less than high school)

 

Twenty-five Louisiana occupations adding the most jobs, and only three require either a two- or four-year degree.

LEAP 2025 workforce justification Strike Three.

So, why are Louisiana’s public schools drowning in standardized testing?

It isn’t workforce needs. However, those state-mandated tests do fulfill a need, an ideological (and lucrative) one in which public schools must fail (or at least be kept in constant fear of failing) based upon the power of test scores, in a corporate-ed-reformer game of message manipulation in order to better funnel public funds into private hands.

LEAP 2025 Testing: Leveraging Workforce Delusion to Choke Public Education.

pinoccihio

“LEAP 2025 is necessary to meet the demands of Louisiana’s workforce.”

______________________________________________________________________________________

Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

5 Comments
  1. Excellent research, Mercedes. The same kind of dreamy speculation about manufacturing children into cogs for the illusory high-tech economy of the future is a communicable disease in New Orleans. Thirteen years after Katrina there is no evidence that high-tech is the salvation of the region. The tech sector locates where there is infrastructure. Look at any online job service and you will see that the job vacancies in Houston and Dallas dwarf New Orleans, and New Orleans just lost Smoothie King to Dallas purely on the the attraction to Dallas’s synergistic tech economy.

    The goal of the corporate education reform movement is to panic the citizenry into handing over public education to the private sector, rather than investing in making the real economy into better jobs. Tourism is a fine sector in SanFransico and New York where workers are paid a living wage.

  2. John Breen permalink

    (New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, 2018 JFK Profile in Courage award honoree.)

  3. “Let’s now consider the LDOE assertion that the percentage of the Louisiana workforce with two- or four-year degrees “must double” from the 28 percent it was in 2011.

    According to LWC, the 2024 projected number of Louisiana jobs requiring a two- or four-year degree is 447,520:

    21 percent.”

    Presupposing the accuracy of those numbers, such nice and neat and concise scientific numbers, makes as much sense as listening to your local weatherman telling you what the weather is going to be like on May 9, 2024. I’d bet that the medieval scholastics could have also quite as accurately predicted the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin on May 9, 2024, eh!

  4. Laura H. Chapman permalink

    The same careers is us thinking is hitting Ohio, Kentucky, and Seattle. see https://seattleducation.com/2018/05/09/suzie-levine-career-connected-learning-time-to-start-paying-attention/

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Louisiana to Spend at Least $75M on Five Years of PARCC-ish LEAP 2025 Testing | deutsch29

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: