Evaluating struggles and success
State labels some schools in Calcasieu as needing intervention
<span style="font-weight: bold;">Editor’s note:</span> This is the second story on the student performance scores released by the Louisiana Department of Education .
<p class="indent">This week’s data release from the Louisiana Department of Education provided districts, parents and students with new information on the state of local schools.
<p class="indent">The department formally recognized several new categories of student performance, including yearly progress and specific subgroup performance.
<p class="indent">State Superintendent John White said during a teleconference Thursday that overall performance is no longer the only factor being used to measure Louisiana schools. Individual elements play more of a role in the data provided to schools, offering more targeted support for specific student populations.
<p class="indent">“The way that we evaluate success and struggles has changed,” he said. “This is a more nuanced or comprehensive view of evaluating schools than ever before and it’s just one phase in a process of improvement.”
<p class="indent">Statewide, 502 schools were labeled as needing “Comprehensive or Urgent Intervention Required.” Comprehensive intervention schools have received a D or F for three years and/or have less than a 67 percent graduation rate in the most recent year. Districts are required to submit school improvement plans to the state by February.
<p class="indent">The 13 Calcasieu Parish “R3 Zone” schools are listed as needing comprehensive intervention. Oak Park Elementary School will be added to the list this year to receive necessary support, said Tommy Campbell, Calcasieu Parish School Board chief academic officer.
<p class="indent">Though Washington-Marion Magnet and LaGrange High School scored a C this year, they will need to have continued success before the state will release them from the comprehensive intervention list, he said.
<p class="indent">Campbell and Zone Director Marcus Jackson said many of the comprehensive intervention schools have made significant improvements over the year.
<p class="indent">“As I look at the district Zone School’s performance summary, I’m oozing with optimism,” Jackson said. “Out of the 13 (R3) Zone schools, both high schools have received a grade a of C, five schools are within 10 points or less from a C, and four schools are 15 points away from a C.”
<p class="indent">Schools are also graded according to their yearly improvements. Of the R3 Zone schools, Ray D. Molo Middle earned a progress A, 11 schools earned a B and one received a C.
<p class="indent">“With the plan that’s in place, the support from the district office and the leaders and teachers at the zone schools, it won’t be long before these schools are out of this status which will place the district in an A status,” Jackson said.
<p class="indent">Lake Charles College Prep was labeled as “Comprehensive Improvement Required” because hasn’t been open long enough to utilize all four categories of data for its score. Unlike its CPSB counterparts, its score did not include its graduation rate or strength of diploma, which lags a year in the score, according to Sabrah Kingham, director of education.
<p class="indent">Despite the missing data, the school grew 7.5 points in its school performance score and earned a B in its progress. LCCP’s leadership will know in the next two weeks if the charter renewal will be granted, Kingham said.
<p class="indent">“We’ve worked very closely with the LDOE in ensuring that we are meeting all of the compliance requirements and standards for our charter renewal,” she said. “All indications were that we were going to do very well.”
<p class="indent">The new “Urgent Intervention Required” label identifies subgroups of students who performed at failing rates for two years in a row and/ or schools with out-of-school suspension rates that are more than double the national average for three years. Subgroups include students with disabilities, black, economically disadvantaged, Hispanic/Latino or English language learners.
<p class="indent">Twenty CPSB schools received this label. Eleven are not in the R3 Zone and are required to submit plans to address their struggling populations of students with disabilities.
<p class="indent">“Historically this is one population that educators across the nation have struggled to reach,” Campbell said.
<p class="indent">The LDOE recognized Southwest Louisiana Charter Academy and 10 Calcasieu Parish schools as “Equity Honoree Schools.” The recognition, given for the first time this year, honors schools that demonstrated excellence in educating struggling populations.
For a complete list of individual school accountability ratings and data, visit <span class="text_link link_wrap type_url" data-link-type="URL" data-link-target="http://www.louisianaschools.com">www.louisianaschools.com</span>.