(WAFB) - On Thursday, the Louisiana Department of Education released performance data on how well childcare centers and schools across the state are preparing students through 12th grade for the next level of education.
The results show a “significant step in the implementation of the state’s plan to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)” and “reflect critical shifts in the design and reporting of Louisiana’s accountability system.”
Click here to see a breakdown of grades for schools by parish or name of school.
“Today’s release is an important step in Louisiana’s push for higher expectations and improvement,” said State Superintendent John White. “Early childhood outcomes demonstrate that teaching is improving statewide in childcare, Head Start, and pre-kindergarten classrooms. And K-12 schools are beginning to step up to significantly higher expectations.”
Of note in the report, two of the top five districts statewide are from the Baton Rouge area.
Zachary Community School District and Ascension Parish Public Schools, ranked first and third in the state respectively, were the only two districts in the area to maintain their A grade from the 2016-17 school year, according to scores released Thursday afternoon.
Central Community School District, West Feliciana Parish, and Livingston Parish school districts each dropped from an A to a B grade, but were among the state’s top 11 districts. Nearly half of the school districts in the Baton Rouge area saw their state grades drop from last school year, while six districts maintained their C and D scores.
Statewide, Louisiana maintained its B grade from last year.
Below is how each of the capital area districts scored:
- Ascension Parish: A
- Central Community School District: B
- City of Baker School District: D
- East Baton Rouge Parish: C
- East Feliciana Parish: C
- Livingston Parish: B
- Pointe Coupee Parish: C
- Recovery School District – Baton Rouge: D
- Tangipahoa Parish: C
- West Baton Rouge: C
- West Feliciana Parish: B
- Zachary Community School District: A
Other highlights from the statewide report include:
- The percentage of sites providing quality care and instruction increased by 7 percent. Of the approximately 1,500 early childhood sites to receive performance profiles in 2017-18, 77 percent provided children with care and instruction at levels that research shows promote kindergarten readiness. That is an improvement from the previous year, when about 70 percent of sites did.
- Louisiana is redefining what it means to be an A school. By 2025, an A school in Louisiana is one where the average student has fully mastered content, is ready for the next level of study, and has access to the same opportunities as his or her peers across the country. As the state works toward that goal, it is gradually raising the bar for what it takes to earn the highest grade.
- As schools respond to higher expectations, the distribution of school performance scores has shifted modestly. The result is 13 percent of schools statewide received an A grade; 31 percent of schools statewide received a B grade; 30 percent of schools statewide received a C grade; 14 percent of schools statewide received a D grade; and 12 percent of schools statewide received an F grade.
“This year’s results are based on more comprehensive information on student growth and achievement than ever before,” said Dr. Gary Jones, president of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. “This enhanced performance data provides a more accurate snapshot of where we truly stand, an important part of the equation as we assess our state’s progress toward meeting higher expectations in K-12 and early childhood education. As our school districts and educators rise to that challenge, the information will help them to more clearly identify needs and opportunities and put sound improvement strategies into practice.”