Last week, the Louisiana Department of Education released the annual performance scores for schools and districts around the state. Eight of the nine school districts within the 1A region maintained their District Performance Score (DPS) letter grade, with Jeff Davis Parish becoming Acadiana’s second ‘A’-rated district, along with Vermilion Parish.
2016-17 District Performance Scores and Letter Grades
Future scores to be measured on tougher grading system
Starting with the current school year, the state is adjusting the school rating system, to make the rigor of the annual scores more comparable to other states.
Since Louisiana's public school letter grade system was introduced in 2011, the benchmark for schools to earn an ‘A’ grade was the third-highest of five achievement levels, or “basic.” That standard is being raised to the second-highest level, or “mastery.”
The state is also ending the practice of grading schools on a curve, where the distribution of schools rated A, B, C, D, and F was held constant from year to year.
With the tougher grading system, the number of schools rated ‘F’ is likely to rise and the number of schools rated ‘A’ is likely to drop. However, over time, the higher expectations are intended to drive better results, and the new system will provide a clearer measure of student achievement that allows for a more accurate comparison with other states.
New tool helps Louisiana families compare schools and centers
In an effort to help families and the public better evaluate and compare K-12 public schools and child care centers, the Louisiana Department of Education released a new tool – the Louisiana School Finder. This interactive, online tool offers user-friendly details on schools and centers, including information on student performance, course offerings, and extracurricular activities.
Looking ahead, 1A will be taking a deeper dive into the data and assessing strengths and weaknesses, as we continue to work to improve education outcomes around the region.