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Louisiana education says 44 percent of schools need comprehensive improvement

David Jacobs

The Center Square

The Louisiana Department of Education says 44 percent of the state’s public schools will be required to develop plans detailing how they will improve outcomes for struggling students.

The department on Wednesday released performance scores for the 2018-2019 school year. About 16 percent of Louisiana public schools received an “A” grade, 32 percent received a “B,” 29 percent got a “C,” 14 percent were rated a “D” and 9 percent got an “F.”

Under the terms of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, 571 schools will be required to develop improvement plans to submit to the state for approval and funding. Of those schools, 89 have received ratings of “F” for two or more consecutive years, and 25 have received “F” ratings for four or more consecutive years, making them eligible for inclusion in the state-run Recovery School District, the department says.

Of 219 schools previously identified under ESSA as in need of comprehensive improvement, excluding alternative schools, 36 percent increased by 3 or more school performance score points, 40 percent remained generally steady, and 24 percent declined by 3 or more SPS points, the department says. By comparison, 29 percent of other schools, excluding alternative schools, increased by 3 or more points.

“Today’s release provides early indications that school systems taking seriously their responsibility to provide a quality education for all children can make significant improvements, even in persistently struggling schools,” said State Superintendent of Education John White. “The release also underscores the urgency of taking action. More than 45,000 students still attend a school rated ‘F.’ This can and must change.”

The education department on Wednesday also released performance profiles for early childhood centers. Officials say 84 percent of all sites demonstrated the ability to “promote kindergarten readiness, quality care and instruction,” compared to 77 percent the previous year.

Department officials called for expanding access to quality early childhood programs, particularly for children birth to age 3. While 86 percent of economically disadvantaged 4-year-olds have access to quality early learning, only 1 percent of infants, 6 percent of toddlers and 26 percent of 3-year-olds do, the department says.

The Louisiana School Finder has results for specific schools and child care centers.