Livingston Parish elementary and middle school students outperformed their peers across the state in last spring’s standardized tests.
The Louisiana Department of Education released information in October that allows the public to compare schools and districts.
Last year, students in grades three through eight were tested in English, math, science and social studies and received one of five grades. The highest achievement levels are advanced and mastery. Livingston Parish schools met or beat the Louisiana rate of students testing into the top two echelons in 47 of 48 categories.
The state also has released high school letter grades. Denham Springs, Live Oak and Walker all received A’s; Springfield, Walker Freshman and Denham Springs Freshman received B’s; and Albany was given a C.
Grades for elementary, middle and combined schools will be released later this year.
In a teleconference with reporters, state Education Superintendent John White said that across Louisiana, the number of A-graded high schools increased due to higher ACT scores, improved graduation rates and the growing popularity of higher-level coursework.
Statewide, however, end-of-course test scores have leveled off. They’re worth 150 points in determining a school’s grade, but the average campus improved by less than one point since last year. That was not the case at Springfield High, which gained 13.4 points over last year from the tests. The jump placed it in the top 10 most-improved schools in that category throughout the state.
“I’m fortunate here to have an incredible staff that works hard,” Principal Spencer Harris said.
The school has had a fair amount of staff turnover in recent memory but is now retaining more teachers and building consistency in the classroom while taking advantage of assistance from the parish central office, Harris said.
At the same time, the principal noted that Springfield “had further to go.” It still has the second-lowest end-of-course test scores in the parish, but Harris said the other schools give his students and teachers a goal to strive toward.
“We’re very pleased” with the high school grades, said Livingston Parish schools Superintendent John Watson, adding that he is “very excited” to see how the parish’s other campuses fare when their results are released.
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