Dec 15, 2015

Guides Provide Parents Detailed Report of School Progress and Areas for Improvement

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Education today released a set of Parent Guides to School Report Cards designed to support parents’ understanding of strengths and weaknesses in the schools and school districts their children attend. The release of the Parent Guides comes just before the scheduled release of School Report Cards on Thursday, December 17. School report cards provide concise information to families on the performance of students at each school and comparisons to the previous year, to the district, and the state as a whole. Parents can use the results of the school report cards to evaluate future school choices and become more aware of the courses and pathways available to their children. Parents can also revisit the progress their children are making in comparison with averages and other analyses gleaned from statewide information.

The guides continue a statewide effort to help parents better understand how their child is performing on multiple measures of student achievement through the release of a series of tools, beginning in October with the release of the Parent Guide to PARCC Results. Through extensive outreach, the Department disseminated the Parent Guide to PARCC Results to tens of thousands of parents through principal-led parent nights, engagement of more than 100 partners (education, community, and business organizations), and social media. The campaign continues a multi-year effort to raise expectations for students in our state.

“The most important educational decisions are made at home and in the classroom. Because of this, the Department embarked on an unprecedented effort to provide as many families as possible with a clear sense of the skills their children demonstrated on 2015 state assessments,” said State Superintendent John White. “This next set of guides will help parents breakdown the elements and indicators on annual school report cards. The guides show parents how to examine and analyze school- and district-level scores and how to evaluate other important indicators like high school readiness, high school graduation, and college readiness indicators.”

The Department has developed a guide for each level of the school system: Elementary, Middle, Combination, and High Schools. The guides specifically detail:

  • Each school’s 2014-2015 performance score and letter grade;
  • Skills demonstrated on state assessments, including information on specific groups of students such as racial and ethnic minorities, economically disadvantaged, academically struggling students, and students with disabilities;
  • Student performance on measures of college and career readiness such as ACT, Advanced Placement, dual enrollment coursework, Jump Start credentials, and high school graduation rates in comparison against other schools in their district and state.

2015 and 2016 test results will form a “baseline” measurement of Louisiana performance against new standards. Having established this baseline, BESE will create a steady transition toward 2025, when an A-rated school in Louisiana will have an average performance of “mastery” rather than “basic,” as is the case today. This means that each year between 2017 and 2025, the state’s accountability system will increasingly reward “mastery” results more and “basic” results less.

The Parent Guides to School Report Cards are located in the Family Support Toolbox, along with other helpful assessment resources.

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