DeSoto Parish Schools led the state in overall improvement in the percent of students achieving mastery and above in grades 3-8. When including high school students, the district ranks second overall across the state, according to 2018-19 LEAP assessments released Thursday by the state education department.
In Caddo Parish, schools are making sizable gains in student growth with improvement seen in mathematics, English language arts and social studies performance. The data released Thursday shows students across Caddo Parish continue to progress year after year across content areas. Caddo grew two percent in students scoring mastery and above in math.
In DeSoto Parish, schools Superintendent Clay Corley credited the “hard work of our teachers and administrators was evident as our students improved toward the new goal of mastery.”
Mansfield Elementary School, under the guidance of Principal Brittany Anderson, led the district in assessment performance growth and percentage growth of students reaching mastery and above.
“Our entire faculty and staff are deeply committed to our vision of building a strong foundation at Mansfield Elementary School, and the data shows that we are on the right path for accomplishing our vision,” said Anderson.
DeSoto students showed overall performance growth in the three content areas reported: English, mathematics, and social studies. Science scores will be released at a later time due to a deadline set by the Louisiana Department of Education.
“Student growth is now such a significant part of the new accountability system,” said Corley. “This measurement recognizes the worthy work of our educators and reaffirms that our intervention efforts for students at all levels are aligned to our goals for their success.”
Student Learning Director Kathy Noel credits teachers, administrators, and a relentless focus on student achievement and individual student growth as the catalyst for the district’s continued improvements.
“We are extremely proud of the hard work of our teachers and the leadership our master teachers and administrators have provided,” said Noel. “Our teachers are setting higher expectations than ever before for their students, and our students are responding with higher levels of proficiency.”
Individual student results will be sent home with each child by the beginning of the 2019-20 school year.
In Caddo Parish, he district noted increases not only in high poverty schools with intensive supports such as those in the Transformation Zone but in some of the state’s highest performing schools including Caddo Middle Magnet and Herndon Magnet. Thursday’s data release comes as the district has received recognition for all-time high graduation rates coupled with growth in student performance on national assessments including the ACT and Advanced Placement exams.
Superintendent Dr. T. Lamar Goree said the latest state assessment results show the strides being made in the district along with helping to create a roadmap for the work to continue to improve student performance.
“In a district as large and diverse in needs as Caddo creating academic plans for success must be founded in equity. We must review each school, each classroom, each teacher and each child to determine what is needed for them to reach their greatest potential and develop strategies for success,” Goree said. “We are proud to be a district making great strides toward that effort and that is seen in today’s data release where we are having growth not only in our struggling schools, neighborhood schools or magnet schools, but in schools of all types across our district. There is more work to be done as we have only the highest expectations for ourselves, but I am immensely proud of our teachers, students and staff who made today’s results possible.”
The LEAP 2025 includes assessments of ELA, mathematics, science, and social studies for grades 3-12. Science assessments were field tested for the 2017-2018 school year as part of a transition to new standards. The tests measure the knowledge and skills contained in the state's content standards for that particular grade. Student scores are reported on five levels: Unsatisfactory, Approaching Basic, Basic, Mastery, or Advanced. Mastery and above is considered proficient, or ready for the next grade level.
Transformation Zone schools outperformed the state average growth across subject areas with J.S. Clark Elementary growing by nine percent, Queensborough Elementary by seven points and Westwood Elementary increasing student performance by double the state average. School leaders credited the implementation of top-rated curriculum, teacher supports including the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP), and strategic community partnerships for much of the progress.
Additionally, Caddo’s magnet schools outpaced schools in the region with Caddo Middle Magnet and Herndon Magnet each increasing mastery and advanced scores by five percent.
At district high schools, Captain Shreve High School led the district in growth with a four percent year-over-year increase. Captain Shreve was followed by Caddo Parish Magnet High which saw three percent growth in students scoring at the highest levels of performance.
“In a time of increasing expectations and rigor, I am proud of the efforts of our students and staff who work so hard to rise to the challenge. We know there continues to be much more work to be done, but we know we have the supports in place to drive high student achievement.”
Thursday’s data release comes just one year after Caddo announced districtwide implementation of Tier I curriculum for math and English language arts subjects at all elementary and K-8 campuses. Curricula deemed Tier I are among the top-rated materials from the Louisiana Department of Education. National research has shown high-quality curriculum to be one of the greatest determining factors in student learning and performance outcomes.