New grading system has scores falling statewide
Annual School and District letter grades were released Thursday, Nov. 8• This sensitive issue will carry extra significance this year because of changes the state has made to how schools and districts are rated. Grade assignments are expected to drop because of these changes. On average, performance indexes will drop between 15-25 points. Advanced placement 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 been previously middle to low A’s will be B’s under the new formula, and scores that are usually middle or low B’s will be C’s.
This formula will make it harder for schools and school districts to earn an A or B rating. This fall, schools will receive two letter grades under this new revamped system, one under the previous formula and one under the new formula. This is being done by the state because of concerns on how parents, teachers, community leaders and others will react when top marks plunge under the new, tougher rules.
The number of F-rated schools will increase by 57 percent and the number of A-rated schools will drop 38 percent under this new formula. This is according to data analysis supported by the Louisiana Department of Education. This new accountability plan is part of a four-point program to fully implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in Louisiana. These points include: (1) Report cards published online (LA School Finder); (2) Measurement of each student’s progress; (3) Achievement progress of each sub group; and (4) Consolidation of federal grant processes into one plan. 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. We always want our 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 teachers, students and administrators have worked very hard to perform exceptionally well. We will continue to do so,” said Dale Skinner, Superintendent.
The Louisiana School Finder mentioned above can be accessed at www.louisianaschools.com. Enter center or school name or your zip code. School performance scores and early childhood performance ratings will be available. In addition basic information such as address, website, hours, principal’s name, course offerings, clubs, athletics, enrichment and other extracurricular opportunities are listed.