The Natchitoches Parish School District’s performance score for the 2017-2018 school year dropped from a ‘B’ to a ‘C.’ Superintendent Dale Skinner said he’s disappointed, but it was expected due to the changes on the state level on how schools and districts are rated.
On average performance indexes will drop between 15-25 points. Advanced stayed at 150 points. Mastery dropped from 125 to 100 points. Basic dropped from 100 to 80 points. This means school and district performance scores that have previously been middle to low A’s will be B’s under the new formula and scores that were usually middle or low B’s will be C’s. The formula will make it harder for schools and school districts to earn an A or B rating.
Documents below show two letter grades under the new revamped system, one under the previous formula and one under the new formula.
T”his is being done by the state because of concerns on how parents, teachers, community leaders and other will react when top marks plunge under the new tougher rules,” said Skinner.
The number of F-rated schools will increase by 57% and the number of A-rated schools will drop by 38% under the new formula. This new rigor is aimed at making students more competitive on a national and international level.
“We, as educators, are always open to and welcome higher expectations for all of our students,” said Skinner. “We always want out students to be the best educated they can possibly be. We understand we must ‘raise the bar,’ but we also understand that it is a long, drawn-out process. In this process there will be many bumps and bruises, many holes in the road, and many hills to climb. We accept the challenge and will do the best we can with this new endeavor, just as we have always done. We ask that all of our stakeholders be patient and supportive in taking on this new challenging task. Our teacher, students and administrators have worked very hard to perform exceptionally well. We will continue to do so.”
Higher Expectations for K-12 Schools
Each year, every public school in Louisiana earns a school performance score and corresponding letter grade to communicate how well it is preparing students for the next grade level. Per the state’s ESSA plan, school performance scores released today reflect three major changes to the accountability system:
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.
Louisiana is rewarding schools for student progress, in addition to their absolute performance. Starting this year, schools are evaluated not just on the skill levels their students demonstrate but also on how much progress their students make over the course of a school year. In other words, educators and parents will be able to see not only where students stand but also how far they’ve come. This step provides parents and community members a new view of school quality, one focused not only on which schools have the top students but also on which schools help all students–high-performing and struggling students alike–learn the most during the school year.
Louisiana is identifying and supporting struggling schools. The Louisiana School and Center Finder now identifies schools with unusually high out-of-school discipline rates and schools that struggle to support specific student groups, such as economically disadvantaged students or students with disabilities. Schools labeled as “Urgent Intervention Required” will be required to generate a plan for improvement, even if they demonstrate high performance in other areas or overall.
The 2017-2018 school performance results show:
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.
More than 500 struggling schools must submit an improvement plan to the state. This year, 276 schools struggled persistently overall and are now required to submit a plan for comprehensive intervention. An additional 226 schools struggled persistently with one or more groups of students and/or school discipline and are required to submit a plan for urgent intervention. In total, school systems will be required to submit plans for 502 schools. These plans will be reviewed by the state for approval and funding support in the 2018-2019 school year.
“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.”