School letter grades could drop this fall due to state grading system changes

Published: Aug. 7, 2018 at 5:06 PM CDT
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Louisiana schools will no longer be graded on a curve. When school performance scores come out in the fall, the results may be lower.

The Advocate reported that there will be changes in the way school performance scores are calculated.

Student testing scores, graduation rates and academic growth are all taken into account during calculation.

The goal is to get student achievement in Louisiana comparable with other states. The change will cause 'F' rated schools to rise and 'A' rated schools to drop, according to the advocate.

Rapides Parish Assistant Superintendent Kim Bennett said it is raising the bar for students.

Before on state assessments students scoring 'basic' were proficient. Now the new proficiency level is 'mastery'. This level gives school districts 100 points toward their performance score, while basic will only give 75 points.

She said there will be growing pains with the possibility of 'A' schools in the district becoming a 'B' school, but she said parents should not be alarmed.

"We feel very confident that we have put into place a strong curriculum," Bennett said. "Our teachers have undergone a massive training, they are working very hard in the schools, our principals are prepared. But, we do know as the shift occurs, again there are going to be some changes that you are going to see reflected in our school scores. But, we are confident that we will continue to grow in Rapides Parish."