The seven high schools in Livingston Parish that have received scores from the Louisiana Department of Education show tremendous improvements in measures used to assess school performance, collectively growing 50.8 school performance points over last year’s score, for an average improvement of 7.25 points per school, a news release from the school system said.
The seven schools are Albany High, Denham Springs High, Denham Springs Freshman High, Live Oak High, Springfield High, Walker High and Walker Freshman High. The parish’s other four combination schools — high schools that include grades three through eight on the same campus — Doyle, French Settlement, Holden and Maurepas — as well as elementary and middle schools, will receive their scores in December, according to the Education Department.
High schools are scored based on how students fare in five areas: core courses, ACT results, graduation rates, college readiness and other diploma enhancements, as well as gains by struggling students, the release said. Those five areas are used to compute a school performance score, ranging from zero to 150 points. Schools that come in at 100 or above earn an A.
Livingston Parish schools Superintendent John Watson said the average ACT score for the parish’s 2015 graduating class was 20.5, above the national average of 19.7 and the state average of 19.2.
“The remarkable aspect of this statistic is that Louisiana is one of only 11 states in the nation that has every senior take the ACT. Some of the other states calculated in the national average have only the top 30 percent of their student population taking the ACT,” Watson said.
He also noted that the parish’s graduation rate is at 80 percent, which is higher than the state average of 74.6 percent, and parish students scored 11 percent higher than the average Louisiana student on end-of-course exams.
At the same time, Livingston Parish schools are scoring well on indicators for ninth-graders, he said. The state awards points based on the number of credits a student has earned by the end of the ninth-grade year. Those with five for more credits earn 100 points, and the maximum points awarded to a student is 150.
The average score for Livingston Parish’s ninth-graders for 2015 is 137.9, and, of the students scored, 1,526 out of 1,735 earned the maximum of 150 points.
“This indicator is probably one of the district’s most important, because it helps us track progress from this crucial period of transition. We know that greater success in the freshman year leads to greater success throughout,” Watson said.
Watson also said the state’s report showed 66 percent of Livingston Parish students earned more than a basic high school diploma last year. These students gained industry-based certification or college credit through their schools’ college dual enrollment classes and/or Advanced Placement courses and examinations.
A recent state report showed that Livingston Parish is among Louisiana’s top performers in AP exams. According to the 2014-15 school year report, 368 students earned an AP exam score that resulted in college credit, a 50 percent increase from the previous year, when 243 students earned college credit.
AP courses in high school offer students the opportunity to earn college credit in the same subject, depending on the outcome of an end-of-course exam.
“Livingston Parish continues to be one of the fastest-growing districts in the state for student performance growth. Last year, three of our high schools were among the state’s top 10 in performance growth on AP exams. We are pleased to see our schools to rank among the top again in this latest report. It’s just an indication that our students are learning and competing at very high level,” Watson said.