BATON ROUGE, La. (November 9, 2018) — In response to the Louisiana Department of Education announcing 2017-2018 school performance scores, BRAC today released an analysis on performance of the 13 school districts within the nine-parish Capital Region.
The statewide annual ratings, based on a variety of student achievement metrics, provide parents and community members with insight on the performance of each school and the districts overall within the state.
BRAC’s 2017-2018 findings are as follows:
- Changes in the accountability formula resulted in a decline in performance scores across the board, creating a new benchmark for future analysis.
- Zachary School District remains the top performing school district in the state, receiving a 93.6 (A), followed by Ascension Parish scoring a 91.2 (A).
- Four Capital Region districts ranked in the top 10 statewide, with three districts landing in the top five.
- The BRAC-calculated “Regional Score” dropped from 87.4 (B) to 73.1 (C) in 2018, falling behind the state average of 76.1 (B).
- East Baton Rouge, the largest district in the region, received a score of 65.4 (C), maintaining its letter grade from 2017.
- District grade distribution in the Capital Area are: two “A” ratings; three “B” ratings; five “C” ratings; two “D” ratings; and, one “F.”
The release of this year’s scores marks the implementation of the state’s updated school accountability policies. In 2014, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) voted to raise the bar for school systems regarding student achievement over the course of several years. The new policies raise the level of proficiency from Basic to Mastery on statewide assessments and places an emphasis on student growth year over year.
“The student growth data will provide parents and school leaders a deeper level of insight into how a school is performing,” said Ethan Melancon, BRAC’s staff lead for education and workforce development. “The policy change encourages high-performing schools not to be stagnant, while also highlighting the improvements in student achievement at lower-performing schools that may not be evident in traditional achievement metrics.”
BRAC believes the increased standards provide a clearer definition of an “A-level” school by requiring schools to continue pushing beyond Basic attainment levels. The increase in student growth now accounts for 25 percent of the overall school performance score, adding a new level of detail that gives parents more insight into which schools have success in increasing student achievement.
“Education attainment and qualified talent are vital components to a healthy economy,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of BRAC. “If the Capital Region is to stay competitive, we must continue to provide quality education so that our residents are able to participate in the job growth our region is experiencing.”
BRAC is a strong supporter of higher accountability standards for schools, incorporating the cultivation of the region’s talent as a main goal of its five-year strategic plan.
Review school and district scores for the region at www.louisianaschools.com.
About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area, working to grow jobs and wealth and to improve the business climate and competitiveness in the region. Today, BRAC investors include more than 1,500 small businesses, midsize firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as individuals and organizations that support business and economic development. In this capacity, BRAC serves as the voice of the business community, providing knowledge, access, services and advocacy. More information is available at brac.org.