Parish average in LDOE’s eyes
ACADIA PARISH – When the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) released its 2012 letter grades for schools, Acadia Parish found itself among the average school districts with a C.
LDOE announced that a record number of schools in the state boast an A this year, rising from 98 to 163.
Statewide, 36 percent of schools earned an A or B, up from 28 percent last year, and D and F schools dropped from 44 percent in 2011 to 36 percent this year.
“Schools across Louisiana continue to make progress, which means more children are gaining the knowledge and skills to succeed in college and careers,” said State Superintendent of Education John White. “While this year’s grades are good news, schools will need to continue to work hard to maintain these good grades as Louisiana raises standards in the coming years.”
Only two school districts earned A’s, 22 were given B’s, 26 earned C’s, 14 were given D’s and two earned F’s.
But for Acadia Parish, the grade is C and is a mixed bag. The parish boasts two A schools, Iota High and Midland High, and conversely two F schools, Crowley Middle and South Crowley Elementary. The parish had eight B schools, six C schools and seven D schools.
“We’re excited about the eight point increase as a parish and our high schools did really well,” said Acadia Parish Superintendent John Bourque. “And, you know, South Crowley grew by 11 points last year, but the bar was raised and they fell from a D to an F. But, I think Crowley Middle and South Crowley will do a lot better next year and we’ll get to that next level next year.”
To further compare, Acadia had 8 percent of its schools earn A’s and 8 percent earn F’s. Statewide those percentages are 13 percent and 12 percent. Schools earning B’s equal 32 percent, compared to 24 percent statewide; 24 percent were given C’s, 28 percent statewide; and 28 percent earned D’s, 24 percent statewide.
Perhaps the good side to the C grade is that the parish balanced its bad grades well with its good ones, almost perfectly, but with standards set to continue to get more rigid, the parish will have to strive to continue to improve.
“You have to keep improving and have to reach more kids,” said Bourque. “We’re keeping more kids in school right now and that’s helping.”
For this school year, schools will be graded, in part, based on more rigorous writing prompts. In the 2013-14 school year, schools will be graded based on tests with more rigorous writing questions on all subjects—English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. All 11th graders will also take the ACT. In the following year (2014-2015), tests will continue to increase in rigor. In that year, Louisiana will begin using rigorous assessments the state has designed with Parternship for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).
The two A schools in the parish can celebrate, however, as they are two of 163 and give praise to the hard work of all invovled.
“We’re really pleased and attribute it all to firs the students and a great faculty and staff,” said Clyde Briley, Midland principal. “And personally, I’m really proud and its the result of a lot of long, hard work.”
Iota High boasts the highest scores in the state and is the highest in the parish.
“Certainly this is an important moment in Iota High School to once again have success,” said Dr. Gibson Miller, Iota principal. “First we congratulate the teachers for their hard work; then the students who have adhered to the increasing standards and risen to the occasion; and, of course, the parents for their support.”
The schools are also two of nine Top Gain schools in the parish and 440 in the state. Top Gain school that have improved their School Performance Score by or beyond a pre-determined growth target and they earn monetary rewards for educational purposes within the school. Designated as Top Gain schools in Acadia were Church Point High, Egan Elementary, Mermentau Elementary, Midland High, Morse Elementary, Richard Elementary, South Crowley Elementary, South Rayne Elementary and Iota High.
“We’re heading in the right direction with a lot of these schools,” said Bourque.
To further view the scores, you can read the press release and see the scores at http://www.doe.state.la.us/offices/publicaffairs/press_release.aspx?PR=1697.