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La. releases school performance scores

La. releases school performance scores

Lafourche Parish is ranked 19th among the 78 school districts in the state’s accountability program, in a report released Tuesday by the Education Department.

Lafourche’s school systems received a B with a performance score of 94.6, an improvement over last year.
Four Lafourche schools received a higher letter grade, while six schools dropped a letter grade.

Statewide, the number of A schools increased from 187 to 241, out of 1300 schools measured, while the number of B, C, D, and F schools decreased slightly.

The climb was announced along with cautions from state Education Superintendent John White that higher standards are being implemented and that the road for public school teachers and administrators is going to get tougher beginning in 2016 as the state raises the performance bar.

"On the one hand, schools are responding to what they have been asked to achieve and the school report cards reflect that. That's why there are increases," White said in a telephone news conference. "On the other hand, we are transitioning to a much higher bar. And soon that bar is going to make it much more difficult for schools to maintain these high marks."

Performance scores and the accompanying letter grades for individual schools, school districts and the state itself are based on student test scores. In upper grades, high school credits earned and graduation rates also are factors.

Since the accountability system was put in place in 1999, the state has sought a "basic" level of achievement, reflecting fundamental skills in subjects like reading and math. Now, as the state adopts "Common Core" standards, the move is toward "mastery" — a level considered college- or career-ready. By 2025, an A school will be one in which most students are achieving "mastery" of subject matter.

Tests are already getting tougher. To ease the transition, the department implemented a program approved by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, adjusting scores this year and next, to reflect no overall drop in performance at any grade level.

Still, White said, schools had the opportunity to improve their grades, and some did, as reflected in the higher number of A schools. But, he added 195 individual schools dropped in grades.

In 2016, he said, the going will get much more difficult.

In the figures released Tuesday, the state system earned a B, with an 89.2 performance score. Ten districts earned an A; 30, a B; 21, a C and 11 a D, with no Fs.

As for overall school performance, the total number of failing schools numbered 104 this year, down from 109 the previous year; B schools dropped from 388 to 366; C schools dropped from 382 to 350. The number of D schools was about the same, dropping slightly from 270 last year to 268.
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Online: Department of Education release, with links to state, district, school scores:
http://www.louisianabelieves.com/newsroom/news-releases/2014/10/21/state-releases-comprehensive-report-cards-on-student-school-achievement
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published