State's School Performance Score Slips in Year of Hurricanes

March 5, 2007
Reported by Associated Press

The performance of Louisiana's public school districts slipped last year, as students struggled with tougher testing and schools struggled to cope in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Education officials who released the 2005-2006 data today recommended against comparing the latest district performance scores to previous years or from comparing district rankings from year to year. Nine of the most heavily impacted school districts weren't ranked at all.

The public school district in the Baton Rouge suburb of Zachary ranked highest in the state, followed by West Feliciana, Ouachita, Vernon and Livingston parishes. At the low end, the school districts in Saint Helena, Madison, East Carroll and Pointe Coupee parishes, along with another Baton Rouge suburb of Baker were the poorest performing, according to the education department.

However, Orleans Parish -- a perennial poor performer -- wasn't ranked. Neither was Saint Tammany Parish, which is normally in the top performing districts.

The state's average score for the 69 school districts was 85-point-three points, down two-point-one points from a year earlier. The statewide goal is 120 points by the 2013-2014 school year.

The scores include individual student scores on high-stakes tests from third grade until eleventh grade, attendance rates and dropout rates.