The Louisiana Department of Education has released School and District Performance Scores for the 2017-18 school year. The performance of all Louisiana public schools and school systems have been rated annually since 2011 using a numeric School/District Performance Score and a corresponding letter grade. These ratings measure how well schools are preparing their students for the next grade level or for post-secondary education. Each school’s School Performance Score (SPS) is calculated using a combination of state standardized assessment results and other metrics such as graduation rates.
The 2017-18 school year, however, represents the first year of implementation of Louisiana’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan. As a result of this plan, School Performance Scores have undergone several significant changes. First, the bar for attaining an “A” letter grade is now higher to ensure it represents students’ true mastery of fundamental skills. Second, SPS formulas now incorporate student growth in order to place more value on the progress made by every individual child throughout the school year. This component is called the Progress Index.
Third, in addition to an overall letter grade rating, schools will now receive separate letter grade ratings for student performance (how students scored on end-of-year assessments) and student progress (how much progress students demonstrated since the previous school year).
New Orleans’ performance compared to other districts improved between 2017 and 2018. Our District Performance Score (DPS) ranking increased from 59th to 55th out of 70 districts across the state. Highlights include:
80% of New Orleans schools earned an “A” or “B” Progress Index rating.
Compared to the other three large districts in Louisiana that serve more than 30,000 students, New Orleans has the highest Progress Index.
New Orleans’ citywide Progress Index score ranks 33rd out of 70 districts, placing us in the top half of the state.
Under the more rigorous assessment system, New Orleans remains a “C” rated school system of schools. Two thirds of schools across the city are rated “A,” “B,” or “C.” The following table shows the letter grade distribution for all New Orleans public schools (see footnote at the end).Three of the seven non-alternative schools that received “F” letter grade ratings have charter contracts which end in 2019 (McDonogh #32 Charter School, William J. Fischer Academy, and Medard H. Nelson Charter School). Because their performance does not meet the accountability bar for renewal under the Orleans Parish School Board’s new Charter School Accountability Framework (CSAF), the School Board may close or transform them at the conclusion of this school year. The other four “F”-rated non-alternative schools will be held accountable through the CSAF in future years when their charter contracts end.
We have much to celebrate, and much more work to do. We will continue to support our schools in partnership with OPSB to increase their performance through our initiatives: instructional quality—ensuring that all of our schools are using high-quality, aligned curriculum; talent—ensuring that we are recruiting and retaining our best teachers and leaders; policy—ensuring the continuation of existing citywide policies which enable schools to have control over the decisions closest to children; and portfolio—ensuring that OPSB has enough high-quality schools in the pipeline so we can continue to work towards all New Orleans children attending an excellent school.
Now, let’s shout out some of our top performing schools!
Congratulations to the following schools that demonstrated improvement since 2017 with strong overall performance, excellent student progress, and/or outstanding subgroup performance!
Eleven New Orleans schools are among the top-performing high-poverty schools across the state.
The following schools earned School Performance Scores in the top 20% of all Louisiana schools that serve a population of greater than 75% economically disadvantaged students.
Ten New Orleans schools demonstrated outstanding student growth by earning a Progress Index score in the top 20% of all schools statewide.
Fourteen New Orleans schools were named “Equity Honorees” by the Louisiana Department of Education for demonstrating excellence in educating students with disabilities, students who are English learners, and students who are economically disadvantaged (see footnote at the end).
The following table shows 2017-18 School Performance Scores and letter grades under the new SPS formulas. To view schools’ performance in 2017-18 compared to 2016-17 under the old SPS formulas, please refer to this table.
We continue to be proud of all the adults and children across the city who work so hard every day – our students and their families, and our school leaders, teachers, and support staff. We feel confident that our schools are on the right path, continually working to address the myriad of challenges they face with strategic, evidence-based solutions. We look forward to continuing to support our educators, students, and families.
For more information, please refer to the Louisiana Department of Education’s press release, which includes further information about the new accountability system and statewide performance, as well as links to downloadable data files. Individual school report cards, which include performance ratings along with other metrics such as teacher diversity and suspension rates, can be found on the Louisiana School Finder website.
Please also refer to the Orleans Parish School Board’s release, which includes statements from Superintendent Henderson Lewis, Jr., and Board President John A. Brown, Sr.
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