Central schools rank #2 for overall student performance in grades 3-8, third graders earn state’s top rank

Central schools rank #2 for overall student performance in grades 3-8, third graders earn state’s top rank
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POSTED: Saturday, June 1, 2013 - 4:00pm

UPDATED: Saturday, June 1, 2013 - 4:04pm

The Central Community School System once again ranks among the state’s highest performing public schools, finishing No. 2 overall for grades 3-8 for the 2012-2013 school year, and having its third-grade students once again achieve the state’s highest score among all public school third graders for the fourth year in a row.

At the same time, more high school students scored Excellent or Good on their End-of-Course tests for 2012-2013, and fewer students in grades 3-8 scored below basic to record a significant increase in overall performance.

Superintendent Michael Faulk noted that the state recently released the data, which will be compiled over the coming months to determine the district’s performance score and assigned letter grade for 2012-2103 school year.

Central Community School System received an “A” grade from the State Department of Education and a No. 4 ranking among statewide public school districts last year, based on school performance data that was compiled from the 2011-2012 school year. Central Schools earned a District Performance Score of 124.1 points last year, making it one of only seven districts to exceed the 120 mark and receive the state’s top letter grade.

“With these preliminary results, we anticipate Central Community School System to once again rank among the best in the state,” Faulk said. “I believe our consistency is due to our emphasis and investment in professional development for our teachers, administrators and staff, and to the high level of support and involvement we have from our community.”

Faulk noted that the state is recalibrating its measurement of performance for high schools, so at this time, no predictions can be made on district-wide rankings or scores. He said education leaders anticipate some sort of “overall drop” in high school scores to occur statewide due to the new formulas; however, when the new data is compared to the older numbers, Central High School students are shown to have improved.

“There is still much discussion on how high schools will be scored, so we don’t have a preliminary ranking as of yet, nor can we predict our scores. But when we simply compare current numbers to old numbers, there’s no question that our students are doing better. That’s the easiest way to judge the performance at this point,” Faulk said.
He said the reduction in numbers of students scoring below basic in the core subject areas was a significant accomplishment. At the same time, the district totally eliminated the number of students scoring at least 30 percent below basic. Basic is the state’s category for students scoring at an academic passing level.

At the same time, Faulk noted that Central High School increased its percentage of students scoring Excellent and Good on the states’ End-of-Course test, which makes up a part of the calculation of the School Performance Score of the high school. Next year the state will begin the transition to the Common Core curriculum with new assessments beginning in Spring 2015.

Faulk noted the preliminary results for the district’s lower grades:
• 3rd graders ranked as the overall highest performing public school students in the state, making this the fourth year in a row for Central students at that grade level to achieve the No. 1 ranking;
• 4th graders ranked overall as the 2nd highest performing public school students in the state;
• 5th graders ranked overall as the 4th highest performing public school students in the state;
• 6th graders ranked overall as the 5th highest performing public school students in the state;
• 7th graders ranked overall as the 2nd highest performing public schools students in the state; and
• 8th graders ranked overall as the 2nd highest performing public school students in the state.

Faulk said the district is currently working with its teachers and administrators to fully implement the new Common Core Standards that have been adopted by 48 states. The new standards will enable public schools in Louisiana to align with those in nearly every other state, ensuring that Louisiana’s students are receiving and mastering the correct level of instruction they need to compete with their peers in a competitive global climate.

“As always, we will be hard at work this summer to improve our teaching strategies in the classroom. However, this summer will be even more focused on preparing everyone for the state’s Common Core Standards and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), as we seek to begin a full implementation process,” Faulk said.

“It is important that our district maintains its high standards and rigorous curriculum, and that we are prepared to manage these new standards for the 2013-2014 school year. It’s how we will continue our success,” he said.
“By committing ourselves to moving forward, we can ensure that our students will continue to perform at the highest levels.”

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