Ascension Parish schools Superintendent Patrice Pujol commended local educators and students this week, following the school district’s strong performance on the 2014-15 PARCC state assessments.

“We are very proud of the results we got through the phenomenal efforts of our teachers, leaders, students and parents,” Pujol said Tuesday.

Ascension Parish schools ranked third in the state on the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career) assessment given to students in grades three to eight last school year.

The tests ultimately will allow officials to compare Louisiana students to those in 10 other states and the District of Columbia that are part of the same testing consortium.

“This has been a multiyear implementation, resulting in these assessments last spring,” Pujol said of the tests associated with Common Core, which represents new standards in reading, writing and math.

“For us to have 49 percent of all our students score at the two highest levels shows that the hard work of our entire educational community is paying off,” she said.

PARCC replaced earlier tests known as LEAP and iLEAP, which are still administered in science and social studies in grades three to eight. PARCC tests are more rigorous than LEAP.

But in Ascension, a comparison of the 2014-15 PARCC and the 2013-14 LEAP test results shows a significant increase in high-achieving scores for the parish public schools, a report from the school district says.

However, the district’s director of school improvement, Jennifer Tuttleton, said last week the improvement may be attributed to differences in the designs of the two tests.

While the LEAP test was primarily multiple choice, the PARCC test had more open-ended questions that let students demonstrate their knowledge of the subjects, she said.

Tuttleton had been scheduled to present information on the PARCC results to School Board members Tuesday night, but the meeting was canceled because of a lack of a quorum of members, with only five out of 11 board members present.