More rigorous standards, tests pose challenges in years ahead
BATON ROUGE, La. - A record number of schools in Louisiana earned an A this year, according to school report cards released Monday by the Louisiana Department of Education.
The number of schools earning an A rose from 98 last year to 163 this year. Statewide, 36 percent of schools earned an A or B, up from 28 percent last year, and D and F schools dropped from 44 percent in 2011 to 36 percent this year.
"Schools across Louisiana continue to make progress, which means more children are gaining the knowledge and skills to succeed in college and careers," said State Superintendent of Education John White. "While this year’s grades are good news, schools will need to continue to work hard to maintain these good grades as Louisiana raises standards in the coming years."
This year, 983 schools made progress and 440 schools were designated a Top Gains school, which are schools that improved their School Performance Score by or beyond a pre-determined growth target. Top Gains schools earn monetary rewards for educational purposes within the school.
While the number of F schools increased statewide from last year, from 115 to 157, the increase in this category was the result of a more rigorous grade scale used this year.
"Reforms are working," said White. "Every time we raise standards, students and schools rise to the challenge. We raised the bar this year and we saw schools improve in every grade level. We will continue to raise the bar until all students achieve." â€¨ â€¨
For this school year, schools will be graded, in part, based on more rigorous writing prompts. In the 2013-2014 school year, schools will be graded based on tests with more rigorous writing questions for all subjects - English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.
All 11th graders will also take the ACT.
In 2014-2015, Louisiana will begin using rigorous assessments the state has designed with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).
Lafourche Parish public schools scored a “B”, earning a District Performance Score of 107.3, better than the state average of 102.9.
To earn a “B,” a school system must earn a score of 105. Lafourche's score grew by 11.4 points, or 11 percent.
South Lafourche High School was the only school in the parish to grade an A. The other two high schools, Central Lafourche and Thibodaux, earned a “B” grade.
Scores are part of an annual state-issued report card and are based heavily on test scores, but also include attendance and drop-out rates.
Seven schools in Lafourche Parish were listed as “Top Gains” schools, putting them among the fastest-improving schools in the state and earning them a small financial bonus.
To view the school's scores, visit http://www.doe.state.la.us/reportcards/
Posted on Wed, October 24, 2012