Schools in Southwest Louisiana are outperforming the state average, according to district performance data released on Wednesday by the Louisiana Department of Education.
Across the state schools are "taking seriously their responsibility to provide a quality education for all children," John White, state superintendent, said.
The data also points to the continued need to focus on improvements within persistently struggling schools as "more than 45,000 students still attend a school rated ‘F,' " White said. Change is possible, White noted, as evidenced by the considerable improvements within schools that had been identified as in need of "comprehensive improvement" last school year.
Of the 219 identified, 36 showed improvement of three percentage points or greater as compared with only 29 percent of schools that were not identified as needing targeted intervention. White said these types of focused efforts with quality curriculum and teachers trained in the appropriate use of such materials has resulted in 95 percent of such sites showing improvement.
Forty out of 57 schools in the Calcasieu Parish School Board district showed growth in their school performance scores, according to the district's release. E.K. Key Elementary, Washington-Marion Magnet High School, LeBlanc Middle School, W.T. Henning Elementary and DeQuincy Elementary and Primary showed growth greater than 10 percentage points.
With such growth, 88 percent of CPSB students now attend ‘A'-, ‘B'- or ‘C'-rated schools.
"Calcasieu students and teachers continue to respond to the challenges of increased rigor and higher expectations," CPSB Superintendent Karl Bruchhaus said. "Based on another year of improvement, it's evident that our staff and students are working hard towards success each and every day."
Students enrolled in the Lake Charles Charter Schools are also making concentrated improvements concerning student progress. Its pre-K through eighth grade campuses each earned a ‘B' letter grade for progress from one year to the next.
Lake Charles College Prep, charter's high school, made "thrilling" progress, Sabrah Kingham, director of education, said, as the school increased 21.1 percentage points rising to a ‘C'-rated performance score and ‘A'-rated progress score. Lake Charles College Prep has battled since its creation with absent marks in key contents, due to not having students enrolled in all four years of high school.
The lacking criteria had resulted in historically low school performance scores, however, having graduated its first class in 2018, this year's data "is the first year that we had all four indicators," Kingham said. "It's a true reflection of our academic progress but it's also an equitable comparison with the other high schools."
Previously listed as a school in need of "comprehensive improvement," Kingham said its success is due in large part to strategic plans for improvement, which included focus on data and implementation of quality curriculum.
"We've revamped. We have absolutely dug in deep to look at the data, not just at the end of the year but an ongoing review to make tweaks throughout the year," she said. "Students, parents and teachers, they, too, have to make sure that they're digging deep. It's been significant growth and takes grit."
With the new results in, after this school year, LCCP will no longer be listed as in need of comprehensive improvements, Kingham said.