Oct 7, 2010 3:44 PM by Kate Mundy & LDOE

State Releases School Scores Today

2010 State, District and School Performance Scores are released by the Louisiana Department of Education today.  KATC will have the numbers for Lafayette tonight at 5 and 6.

News Release:

BATON ROUGE, La. – More Louisiana schools and districts are making the grade. The number of schools earning a School Performance Score (SPS) of 100 or higher grew significantly, from 361 schools in 2009 to 423 in 2010. These gains, coupled with the increase in this measure from 2008 to 2009, mean the number of schools hitting the mark of a 100 SPS or higher jumped by 40 percent over the two-year period. Additionally, over the last two years, the percentage of districts earning a District Performance Score (DPS) of at least 100 has doubled. In 2008, only 9 of 69 (13 percent) had a DPS of 100 or more; based on 2010 scores, that figure has nearly doubled to 18 of 70 districts (25.7 percent).

Overall, for the third consecutive year, the state’s Growth and Baseline Performance Scores are the highest earned since Louisiana’s accountability system was launched in 1999. And collectively, the Baseline Score has improved by 7.8 points over the last two years. However this year’s 3.1 point gain falls short of the 2010 Growth Target of 5.7, and the 2010 Growth Score of 92.5 falls short of the state’s 2010 Growth Performance Goal of 95.1. State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek said the 2010 outcomes signify continuous and robust progress, with schools and districts showing impressive and consistent growth, especially compared to the relatively flat growth years earlier. But the state’s top education official stressed the gains also indicate more work needs to be done.

“Overall, we’re demonstrating strong progress, and there are schools and districts that are making remarkable gains. Their success is a testament to their dedication and hard work, and more importantly, their growth in student achievement demonstrates the power and promise of committing ourselves to high expectations. But we must recognize that this level of improvement is not enough. In order to meet high expectations for students, adults must have a sense of urgency to boost all schools,” Pastorek emphasized.

Each year, schools receive numerical scores known as School Performance Scores (SPS). School Performance Scores are calculated for K-6th grade schools using student test scores (90%) and attendance (10%). Schools with a 7th and 8th grade configuration receive an SPS based on attendance (5%), dropouts (5%) and student test scores (90%). High schools (grades 9-12) receive an SPS based on test scores (70%) and their graduation index (30%).

District Performance Scores and the State’s Performance Score are a roll up of individual student scores on LEAP, iLEAP and GEE, as well as attendance, dropout and graduation outcomes – calculated using the same formula as School Performance Scores – but using only one year of data.

In 1999, Louisiana set 10 and 15 year goals for every school in the state to earn an SPS of 100 or higher by 2009 and for every school in the state to achieve a performance score of 120 by 2014. Growth Goals and Targets are assigned to schools annually based on the success a school makes toward meeting its Growth Target for the previous year and represent the amount of progress a school must make every year to reach the state’s SPS goal of 120 by the year 2014. The maximum amount of growth a school is required to make is 10 points, while the minimum amount is 2 points. Likewise, District and State Growth Goals and Targets are determined using the same method.

An analysis of indicators reveals that from 2009-2010, the state made gains in every category used to calculate the State Performance Score, with the exception of the Non-Dropout Index for K-8 students, which dipped slightly. The greatest point gain in the annual state score is a 2.6 point increase, which occurred in the Assessment Index of 9-12 students. Furthermore, the 2010 report issued today demonstrates consistent and annual reductions in the number of failing schools and a narrowing of prior achievement gaps between students of different races and socio-economic backgrounds.

In 2010, a total of 43 schools (3.4 percent) earned a performance score below 60 – the current minimum score required to avoid the Academically Unacceptable School label. This decline represents a 22 percent drop from 2009, when the performance scores of 55 schools (4.3 percent) fell below 60, and from an historical perspective one might consider that in 1999, 388 schools (32.7 percent) earned an SPS below 60.

Based on the percentage of students earning Basic and above on state assessments, the subgroup data released today also points to a further narrowing of the achievement gap between black and white students in Louisiana. Over the last eleven years, the achievement gap in English Language Arts (ELA) has narrowed 10.6 percentage points, from 33.7 in 1999, to 23.1 in 2010. In math, the gap has narrowed by 11.3 points, from 37.9 in 1999, to 26.6 points in 2010.

Additionally, a significantly larger percentage of black students is performing at the level of Basic and above. In 1999, only 32.4 percent of black students scored at least Basic in English; in 2010, that percentage has risen to 55.1 percent. And even a more dramatic sign of improvement - in 1999, 20 percent of black students scored at least Basic in math; in 2010, that figure has more than doubled, to 53.4 percent.

The gap between economically disadvantaged students and all students has also narrowed in terms of students scoring Basic and above on state tests. In 1999, there was an 11.7 percentage point gap in English between economically disadvantaged students and all students; in 2010, that gap has narrowed to 7.8 points. In math in 1999, the gap was 13.2 percentage points; that gap has dropped to 8 points in 2010.

Likewise, a significantly larger percentage of economically disadvantaged students is performing at the level of Basic and above. In 1999, only 38.7 percent of economically disadvantaged students scored at least Basic in ELA; in 2010, that percentage has increased to 59.6 percent. And in 1999, 27.3 percent of economically disadvantaged students scored at least Basic in math, compared to 2010, when 59.6 percent of students in this subgroup earned a score of at least Basic on mathematics assessments. 

From 2009 to 2010 alone, achievement gaps between black and white students narrowed by five percent in math and one percent in ELA while the gap between economically disadvantaged students narrowed by five percent in ELA and nine percent in math.

“As we seek to close gaps between our most challenged students and their peers, we are very encouraged by the substantial improvement that has been made, not only this year, but over the course of the last decade. At every level, the education community across Louisiana has focused much of its work on advancing our capacity to more fully support the needs of our diverse student population. And their commitment to their students is evident by our progress on these measures,” Board of Elementary and Secondary Education President Keith Guice said.

As a whole, more students across the state are performing at grade level. While the 2009 and 2010 Growth SPS of 91.0 and 92.5 indicate that roughly one-third of our students are not grade level proficient, the bump in the 2010 score denotes that statewide, about 6,100 more students have the knowledge and skills to succeed academically.

“Today is a good day, and we want to congratulate our teachers, principals, administrators, students and school communities on their efforts and success as demonstrated by this positive report. This past year, and over the course of the last 11 years, Louisiana has achieved notable growth in performance indicators and in terms of effectively implementing reforms proven to result in raising student achievement,” Pastorek added. “But the reality is that some schools and districts are showing minimal or no growth -- and some schools have actually declined – indicating the academic success of their students is in jeopardy. Through statewide initiatives and systematic reforms, our aim is to offer districts and schools support to remedy this, thereby ensuring that all our students have access to the world-class education they deserve.”


The top ten highest ranking districts, based on 2010 District Performance Scores (DPS):


District Performance Score

Zachary Community School District


West Feliciana Parish


Orleans Parish


St. Tammany Parish


Vernon Parish


Central Community District


Jefferson Davis Parish


Livingston Parish


Ascension Parish


St. Charles Parish




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