The Livingston Parish public school district retained its A rating when the Louisiana Department of Education recently released last year’s final school report cards.
The system was one of 10 to earn an A, along other local districts such as Ascension, St. Tammany and Central Community Schools.
Individually, most schools in the parish were given an A or B grade, though Northside and Southside elementary schools and Albany High received Cs. No schools in Livingston were given a D or F.
“In a year that included new, more rigorous tests in the third to eighth grades, our students responded by performing at high levels in comparison with their peers from around the state,” Superintendent John Watson said in a statement.
In fact, he said in the release, 78 percent of Livingston students in those grades achieved at least a score of “Basic” performance in state assessments. Statewide, only 65 percent of students hit that benchmark. Over a third of Livingston third- through eighth-graders were given a “Mastery” rating, higher than the 27 percent state average.
Older children also outperformed their peers across Louisiana. The Livingston average ACT score last year was a 20.5, more than one point higher than the state average and even slightly above the national average.
Additionally, 80 percent of Livingston Parish high schoolers graduate within four years, about the same as the national graduation rate but 5 percentage points above the Louisiana rate.
The state Department of Education also looks at graduation rates among specific populations. In Livingston, only 56 percent of students with disabilities and 75 percent of “economically disadvantaged” children graduated within four years. However, minority students graduated at the same rate as the rest of the parish.
Schools in Livingston also awarded more dual enrollment credits and slightly more Advanced Placement credits than elsewhere in Louisiana. However, the state and parish lag far behind the nation in AP achievement.
Six percent of Livingston high school graduates last year scored at least a three out of five on an AP exam. Nationwide, the number was 22 percent.
Watson said one reason for the high score was that the parish schools earned the maximum number of available progress points, which are awarded when previously nonproficient students show improvement. The superintendent said schools are trying to help teachers provide better individual instruction for those children.
“We are pleased to see our schools rank among the state’s top tier once again this year, but we are working very hard to move our district forward in all academic areas this school year,” Watson said.
“It is our mission to provide all our students with exceptional educational opportunities that equip them to be life-long learners with the skills they need to become productive, responsible citizens in our society.”
Individual school grades can be viewed at louisianabelieves.com/data/reportcards/2015/.
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