Last Modified: Saturday, October 27, 2012 9:59 PM
Twelve Calcasieu Parish schools earned A’s for the 2011-2012 school year — grades that School Superintendent Wayne Savoy attributes to “the dedication of our teachers wanting their students to excel.”
“Teachers and principals are doing everything they can to get the most out of the students and provide the opportunities that they need by understanding those learning styles (so) those children can succeed,” he said. “Our scores are showing it.”
The state Department of Education released statewide school report cards Monday. Parishwide, there were 13 B schools, 17 C schools, 12 D schools and three F schools.
A school’s grade is based on its Baseline Performance Score, which uses two years of performance data and different formulas based on the type of school. The grades are based on factors like test scores, attendance and high school graduation rates.
The three F schools were Ray D. Molo Middle Magnet School, John J. Johnson Elementary School and Reynaud Middle School. A school earns an F if its Baseline Performance Score is below 75, a standard that the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education raised from 65 points last year.
Both Johnson and Molo scored above 70 and saw their scores improve over last year. Reynaud’s score was 64.7, which was down less than one point from last year.
Savoy said an occasional lower score is common, even among high-performing schools. He said Reynaud “has come a long way” from its 2008 Baseline Performance Score of 58.8.
The issue with some low-performing schools is some students not taking early education programs, like Head Start or prekindergarten, Savoy said.
“When they enter the first grade, they’re going to be behind already,” he said. “The school has to get that student at a point where he or she can catch up.”
Savoy said Reynaud’s low enrollment could cause its score to drop based on one low-performing student, and that some factors that may hurt the baseline score are out of the school’s control.
Eight schools saw their Baseline Performance Scores improve by more than 10 points. Vincent Settlement Elementary and John F. Kennedy Elementary both went up by more than 20 points. E.K. Key Elementary went up by 17.8 points, and Washington-Marion Magnet High School went up by 16.9 points.
Dinah Robinson, principal at John F. Kennedy, said the improvements are due to strategies like Response Intervention Tutoring and working with students in small groups.
“We do a lot of one-on-one with the students,” she said. “It’s the key to identifying problems, and it’s the key to resolving (them).”
T.S. Cooley Magnet School earned the parish’s highest Baseline Performance Score of 152.6. Sam Houston High School scored 132.5.
Barry Landry, press secretary for the Department of Education, said most of the improved scores are due to students performing better on exams, especially high school end-of-year tests.
The parish’s high schools are performing better — which Savoy said is because teaching is improving “all the way down the line from pre-K all the way up.”
“I believe that each year we have a better-prepared student for the next grade than we’ve ever had before,” he said.
Most of the drops in the 2012 Baseline Performance Scores for Calcasieu schools were less than one point from the 2012 Growth Performance Score. S.P. Arnett, Barbe Elementary. T.H. Watkins Elementary and J.I. Watson all went down four points, and Henry Heights Elementary’s score went down five points.
Savoy said his main goal is making sure the school performance scores grow continuously over several years.