State releases district performance scores, area fares well - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

State releases district performance scores

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BATON ROUGE, LA (KPLC) -

One-third, or 36 percent, of the state's public schools received poor grades of "D" or "F" for the 2011-2012 school year and about 37 percent received an "A" or "B", according to data released Monday by the Louisiana Department of Education.

State education officials held a news conference Monday to outline the latest scores.

The district-by-district grades were released. All Southwest Louisiana school districts received a "B" grade. Complete district scores can be accessed HERE.

Two districts -- St. Helena Parish and the state's Recovery School District outside of New Orleans -- received failing grades.

Zachary Community Schools, in the Baton Rouge area, was the highest performing school district.

Also, school-by-school data can be accessed HERE. Grades range from A-F in the Southwest Louisiana school-by-school tally.

For information on how to read the district and school data, also compiled by the state, click HERE.

State Superintendent John White said Monday that a record number of schools earned an "A" this year.

White said the number of schools earning an "A" rose from 98 last year to 163 this year.

Statewide, 36 percent of schools earned an "A" or "B," up from 28 percent last year, and "D" and "F" schools dropped from 44 percent in 2011 to 36 percent this year.

"Schools across Louisiana continue to make progress, which means more children are gaining the knowledge and skills to succeed in college and careers," said State Superintendent of Education John White. "While this year's grades are good news, schools will need to continue to work hard to maintain these good grades as Louisiana raises standards in the coming years."

Officials said while the number of "F" schools increased from last year, from 115 to 157, the increase in this category was the result of a more rigorous grade scale used this year. This year, officials said schools had to earn a School Performance Score of at least 75 to avoid earning an "F", up from 65 last year. The number of schools earning a score below 65 actually dropped, from 115 to 70 - more evidence that raising the bar also raises student achievement.

"Reforms are working," White said. "Every time we raise standards, students and schools rise to the challenge. We raised the bar this year and we saw schools improve in every grade level. We will continue to raise the bar until all students achieve."

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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