Aug 27, 2019

Sites Honored for Achieving Progress Overall and with Historically Disadvantaged Student Groups

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The Louisiana Department of Education today released statewide progress data and celebrated schools and school systems where students, including those most vulnerable, are making progress toward fully mastering key concepts and skills in English language arts (ELA) and math year-after-year.  The progress data complements the recent release of subject-area proficiency rates on LEAP 2025 assessments, and will factor into the annual school performance scores and letter grades that will be published in the Louisiana School Finder this fall.

"Louisiana is proud to have an accountability system that measures not only where students ended up, but how much progress they made to get there. We're also proud to have school systems and schools leading the charge to ensure progress is possible for every child, every day," said State Superintendent John White. "The results released today highlight schools, systems, subjects, and groups where student progress is accelerated, and areas of challenge where students are falling behind."


Louisiana public schools and school systems are assigned A-F letter grades every year. The letter grades correspond to a scale of school performance scores, which are calculated using student performance metrics, including but not limited to students' state assessment scores.

By 2025, as outlined in the state's plan to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the average A-rated school in Louisiana is one in which students are proficient in literacy and math skills, demonstrated by a score of Mastery or Advanced on state assessments. A score of Mastery or above, the two highest levels of five, is considered proficient. The other levels, in descending order, include Basic, Approaching Basic, and Unsatisfactory. 

To ensure students and schools are improving at a rate that will allow them to reach this goal, Louisiana developed a measurement tool that helps educators better guide their students' growth by determining a tailored growth target for each student to meet each year and by tracking how their performance changes over time. The tool was used for the first time last year. 

Schools earn an 'A' in the progress measure for students that demonstrate Top Growth by:

  • showing improvement on ELA and math assessments that is on track to Mastery of key skills and content by 8th grade (elementary/middle school) or 10th grade (high school), and/or
  • outperforming other similar students statewide, as measured by Louisiana's value-added model.

Statewide results are expected to be reasonably stable year-to-year, while variations among schools, school systems, and student groups highlight areas of relative strengths and weaknesses.

The student progress measure will make up 25 percent of an elementary or middle school's overall performance score and 12.5 percent of a high school's overall performance score. In addition to an overall school performance score and letter grade, schools will earn a letter grade equivalent for student achievement and progress on their annual report card. 


The 2019 student progress results bring additional context to the challenges identified in the 2019 LEAP 2025 assessment results. The results, which are measured across two years in order to ensure stability in the measure and therefore represent growth in 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, show:

  • Students are progressing at a faster pace in ELA than in math, mirroring recent subject-area state assessment achievement results. The 2019 progress results show that 47 percent of students achieved top growth in ELA, compared to 44 percent in math. 
  • Louisiana is demonstrating the greatest growth with students scoring Basic in the prior year. This is followed closely by the most struggling students, those scoring Approaching Basic or Unsatisfactory in the prior year. 
  • Historically disadvantaged students are making progress, but not at a rate sufficient to close gaps with their peers. On ELA and math assessments combined, 46 percent of all students in Louisiana demonstrated top growth in 2019, that level was achieved by 43 percent of black students, 44 percent of economically disadvantaged students, 45 percent of English learners, and 42 percent of students with disabilities. Educators must support these historically disadvantaged groups of students to improve at a faster pace than their peers to close the achievement gaps.


The student progress results will be utilized in various ways, depending on the audience. Families, for example, will use the data to understand the extent to which schools in their community are helping students stay on track or catch up, while educators will use the data to identify gaps in learning and instruction, provide targeted interventions to students, set meaningful goals, and implement improvement strategies.

The state will use this information to calculate school performance scores and letter grades this fall, including a score and letter grade equivalent for both student performance and student progress, and to identify and support schools struggling with consistently low performance or low performance among certain groups of students. 

As part of Louisiana's ESSA plan, struggling schools are required to submit an improvement plan to the Department, along with an application for funding to support its implementation. 

Learn more about 2019 LEAP 2025 Student Progress.

Access detailed breakdowns of the data in the PK-8 and High School Performance libraries.
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