Celebrate Education

Only four school districts in the state have a higher rate of growth than DeSoto Parish when it comes to student academic advancement, according to a report released today by the Louisiana Department of Education.

The results come from recent LEAP scores that are based on five achievement levels, with mastery and advanced being at the top two. The A-rated DeSoto School System grew 7 percent from 2015 to 2017 in the number of students scoring at the top levels.

Scoring higher were Cameron Parish at 11 percent, LaSalle Parish and St. Helena Parish at 9 percent each and St. James Parish at 8 percent.

"Our educators and students are to be commended for their good work. This is further evidence of our system producing desirable results," said Dr. Cade Brumley, superintendent. "This indicates that our students are scoring at higher levels than in previous years and this reflects well on the parish as a whole."

DOE said 90 percent of the state’s school districts have improved since 2015, but results reveal challenges persist. The report indicates schools maintained the gains of the past few years, while showing slight increases in the percent of students scoring at the top level of mastery and above in the subject of English Language Arts. There was a slight percentage drop at that level in math and no change in science.

"We have raised academic expectations in Louisiana in order to prepare more students for success in college and the workplace, and it is encouraging to see our students and educators embracing these expectations and achieving at levels competitive with other states," said State Superintendent John White in a news release. "But there remains more work to be done."

In Caddo Parish, the school district met and exceeded state growth in several content areas. That data shows the district outpaced the Louisiana average in growth in students scoring mastery and above in math with the district doubling what was seen across the state.

Across subjects, Caddo increased by 2 percent between 2015 and 2017 in students scoring mastery and above. The information released is the first of its kind as the state transitions to online testing for third through eighth grade students and establishes new baseline of performance for schools and districts.

“We knew from the beginning our students and teachers would need an adjustment period as the state moved from paper and pencil to fully online assessments,” said Dr. Lamar Goree, Caddo schools superintendent. “This data provides us a snapshot of our strengths and weaknesses and allows us to establish targets in the years ahead without worry of whether more changes will be coming from the state. We now have a set of standards in place, curriculum, professional development and, as of this year, a finalized testing platform from which we can grow and measure results.”

One of the largest changes is Caddo’s movement to the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP). Fourteen schools are set to fully launch TAP which provides unparalleled and intensive teacher training and supports designed to foster student success. TAP has been in all DeSoto Parish schools for many years.

TAP will allow Caddo teachers to dive deeper into student progress data to better understand individual learning needs.  In January, the Caddo Parish School Board also improved an incentive plan designed to address the need for certified teachers in every district classroom.  To date, the district has hired more certified teachers in high poverty schools than in the past decade.

“Staffing has been a long-standing hurdle for Caddo and we believe the TAP model coupled with an incentive pay package which supports our highest need schools will directly lead to improved student performance for our district,” Goree said. “We believe we have a plan in place to not only address this data but build upon the baselines it establishes to provide the highest quality instruction in every classroom for every child.”

Bossier Parish students continued to show encouraging gains on the LEAP exam, particularly in science. The DOE report revealed Bossier students again exceeded the state average of those scoring at mastery level or above in English Language Arts, math and science.

The percentage of Bossier Parish students that scored at mastery or above in all three academic areas assessed on the LEAP was 7 percent higher than the state average; 5 percent higher in ELA; 7 percent higher in math and 10 percent higher in science.

Superintendent Scott Smith said the scores are indicative that students are better prepared than ever before as they advance to the next grade level and beyond. “We are elated to see the tremendous gains made by our students and commend Bossier Parish educators for their commitment to identify every child’s strengths and weaknesses and position them for success on their academic journey.”

Louisiana Assessment Results

The spring 2017 LEAP assessment results show:

Most school systems statewide have seen student improvement in ELA, math, and science over time. Since 2015, 62 out of 69 school systems in Louisiana--90 percent--have elevated student performance at the Mastery level and above. Students in the Louisiana Scholarship Program have also improved five percent since 2015.

Students have maintained steady performance since last year and increased over time. In 2017, 33 percent of student tests scored Mastery and above in ELA, math, and science combined. This is no change from 2016, but a four percent increase from 2015.

Subject

2015

% Mastery and Above

2016

% Mastery and Above

2017

% Mastery and Above

% Growth

from 2015 to 2017

English Language Arts

37

41

42

5

Math

30

34

32

2

Science

22

24

24

2

Students in select school systems have made accelerated progress in ELA, math, and science over time.

School System Name

2015

% Mastery and Above

2016

% Mastery and Above

2017

% Mastery and Above

% Growth

from 2015 to 2017

Cameron Parish

28

37

39

11

LaSalle Parish

30

35

39

9

St. Helena Parish

7

9

16

9

St. James Parish

28

32

36

8

DeSoto Parish

31

34

38

7

Iberia Parish

28

34

35

7

Sabine Parish

25

28

32

7

Terrebonne Parish

30

34

37

7

Statewide, historically disadvantaged students are improving in ELA, math, and science, but their overall performance and rate of improvement remain lower than that of their peers.

Subgroup

2015

% Mastery and Above

2016

% Mastery and Above

2017

% Mastery and Above

% Growth

from 2015 to 2017

Not Economically Disadvantaged

48

53

52

4

Economically Disadvantaged

21

25

25

4

Difference

27

28

27

0

     

White

42

45

45

3

African American

17

20

19

2

Difference

25

25

26

1

     

Students without Disabilities

32

35

35

3

Students with Disabilities

9

10

11

2

Difference

23

25

24

1

     

English Proficient Students

30

33

33

3

Students with Limited English Proficiency

12

14

13

1

Difference

18

19

20

2

A handful of school systems are leading the way in closing these achievement gaps among historically disadvantaged students and their peers in ELA, math, and science.

Economically Disadvantaged Students

School System

2015

% Mastery and Above

2016

% Mastery

and Above

2017

% Mastery

and Above

2015-2017 Growth

Cameron Parish

21

31

33

12

Central Community School District

31

36

42

11

LaSalle Parish

22

28

32

10

St. Helena Parish

6

9

16

10

St. James Parish

18

23

28

10

African American Students

    

School System

2015

% Mastery and Above

2016

% Mastery

and Above

2017

% Mastery

and Above

2015-2017 Growth

St. Helena Parish

6

8

15

9

DeSoto Parish

15

19

23

8

St. James Parish

18

22

26

8

Allen Parish

18

24

25

7

Students with Disabilities

    

School System

2015

% Mastery and Above

2016

% Mastery

and Above

2017

% Mastery

and Above

2015-2017 Growth

Cameron Parish

13

17

22

9

Pointe Coupee Parish

2

5

9

7

St. Helena Parish

≤1

≤1

7

7

Catahoula Parish

7

6

13

6

St. James Parish

6

9

12

6

English Language Learners

    

School System

2015

% Mastery and Above

2016

% Mastery

and Above

2017

% Mastery

and Above

2015-2017 Growth

LaSalle Parish

17

56

67

50

Caldwell Parish

≤1

50

47

47

Zachary Community School District

20

27

52

32

School systems impacted by August 2016 floods maintained performance. Preliminary analysis shows that there is not a substantial difference in results for flood-impacted parishes; however, the Department will provide complete analyses to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) at its August meeting.

Ensuring Opportunity for All Students

Louisiana's comprehensive ESSA plan responds directly to the challenges revealed by this year's results. Under this plan, Louisiana will:

  • Redefine what it means to be an "A" school. By 2025, an "A" school will be one in which students average Mastery on the LEAP and end-of-course assessments, average a score of 21 on the ACT, and graduate on time at a rate of at least 90 percent.
  • Close the achievement gap among historically disadvantaged students by supporting schools in need. Louisiana will deliver targeted funding to students and schools who are the most in need, as well as foster and fund relationships between persistently struggling schools and partners that have demonstrated success in turning around struggling schools.
  • Support students struggling with fundamental math skills, particularly in the middle and upper grades. The Department has released a series of freely available, high quality support tools to be implemented in thousands of 4th-9th grade classrooms across the state during the 2017-2018 school year to support struggling students. Furthermore, in partnership with the College Board and Khan Academy, the Department is working with more than 40 school systems to pilot a new intensive Algebra I course in over 100 9th grade classrooms to help students who enter grade 9 behind catch up on critical skills they have not yet learned while keeping pace with grade-level content.
  • Reduce testing. The Department will continue its commitment to reducing testing by limiting the paper-based testing window to one week and by restricting state tests to no more than two percent of annual educational minutes. Beginning in 2017-2018, the Department will provide school systems with short "check-up" tests that will be developed, scored, and reported in alignment with the Louisiana Student Standards, thus replacing current cumbersome, often misaligned tests administered by districts over the course of the year.
0
0
0
0
0