CENTRAL, La. (KALB) - The Louisiana Department of Education raised expectations this year of what it means to be an 'A' school in Louisiana. Thursday they released school performance scores and letter grades based on the 2017-18 school year.
Last year's test scores were graded on a more rigorous scale, causing a drop in 'A's across the state. Last year they had 179 K-8 'A' schools, this year only 81.
The state released two scores: one graded by the old formula with a curve, and one graded by the new formula. The old formula doesn't count. But, the state added it as a visual to make it easier for parents and schools to compare to last year's scores.
The Rapides Parish School District gathered Thursday to celebrate maintaining a 'B' letter grade with a 76.5 performance score. Under the old formula they would have still maintained a 'B', but a score of 92.5. During the 2016-17 year, they got a 'B' with a score of 91.6.
They had three 'A' schools in the district: Alexandria Senior High, Phoenix Magnet Elementary and Caroline Dormon Junior High.
"We were able to still earn an overall district performance score of a 'B'," said Rapides Parish Superintendent Nason Authement. "We had a number of schools who actually increased their school performance scores and increased their letter grades as well. So, again, we are very proud of the work that is being done in the district. We actually earned an overall grade of an 'A' in regards to growth and progress. It means that we are doing a great job as a district in moving our lower performing students up in their achievement levels."
Avoyelles Parish maintained a 'C' letter grade, scoring a 66.6. Under the old formula, they would have received a 'C' and scored 80.3. Last year they received a 'C' and scored a 71.5.
They had two 'A' schools: Louisiana School for the Agricultural Sciences and Avoyelles Public Charter School.
Grant Parish maintained a 'B' letter grade scoring 78.5. Under the old formula, they would have gotten a 'B' with a score of 89. Last year they got a 'B' with a score of 86.5. They didn't have any 'A' schools.
"We will celebrate our accomplishments and continue to work closely with all schools to identify weaknesses for improvement so that all of our students are successful,” said Grant Parish Superintendent Sheila Jackson.
Natchitoches dropped to a 'C' letter grade from a 'B', scoring a 72.4. Under the older formula, they would have scored an 86.4. Last year they got a ‘B’ and scored an 88.8.
They have three ‘A’ schools: N.S.U. Elementary Lab, N.S.U. Middle Lab and Natchitoches Magnet School.
Vernon Parish also dropped from an ‘A’ letter grade to a ‘B’ under the new system, scoring an 88.9. Under the old formula, they would have scored a 109.7. Last year they scored a 107.9.
They have eight 'A' schools: Anacoco High, Evans High, Hicks High, Hornbeck High, Leesville High, Pitkin High, Rosepine High, and Simpson High.
"We are very proud of our student achievement in Vernon Parish Schools," said Vernon Parish Superintendent James Williams. "We are also very excited about our improvements and growth. This improvement is an ongoing process that our students, teachers, and administrators work very hard to achieve each day. We will continue to strive to work hard and be the best that we can be, so our students will be afforded an excellent education. We have identified areas that need improvement at each school on each grade level and have already implemented improvement plans and action plans to address any and all deficiencies. We are committed to our children and to their needs to assure this opportunity for all students. We recognize and appreciate all of the help and support from our parents, teachers, administrators and board members that work together to make our continuously upward progress in education become a reality for all.”
Overall the state earned a 'B' with a state average score of 76.1.
Visit the attached links to see individual school letter grades and scores. There is also a link to LDOE's school finder, which makes it easier to find your school's information.