School district sees drop in performance scores

Some north Webster Parish schools see rise in scores

Louisiana public school performance scores released this week showed good news for the state, but bad news for Webster Parish schools.

The state, as a whole, saw an increase in academic performance in public schools. Louisiana’s overall grade was upgraded from a “C” grade in 2016 to a “B” grade in 2017. Webster Parish Schools saw a 5.3-point drop in its school performance score to 74.1 from 79.9, maintaining its “C” grade.

“Our district score did drop, but it did not drop as severely as I thought it would,” district superintendent Johnny Rowland Jr. said. “It’s our baseline. We see where we are. We’ve been working very hard this year to improve how we go about our business. We are not there yet, but we are working hard to get there.”

Results are based off a 0-150 scale and are accompanied by letter grades “A” through “F.” Schools are awarded points based on a couple of factors: test scores, graduation rates, quality of the diploma, course credits kids can earn and progress points – special points schools get for helping struggling students.

Despite a district-wide drop, some schools in the north end of the parish saw a rise in their scores.

“We had some positives. We had some schools that showed growth,” Rowland said.

North Webster Lower Elementary, North Webster Junior High, North Webster Upper Elementary, Brown Upper Elementary and Browning Elementary School all saw growth. All other schools saw drops in their scores, except Doyline High School, which maintained an 85.6 SPS.

As the rating system is toughened by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, schools across the state are expected to see drops in their scores next year.

“This is the last year they [performance scores] will be figured on what was the old scale,” Rowland said. “Just be aware, that under the new system, district performance scores will fall.”

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