Although it has gone through several notable periods of significant change, Louisiana’s State Accountability System has been in place since 1999. Since that time, the state has issued School Performance Scores for public schools based on student achievement data.
According to the Louisiana Department of Education, School Performance Scores represent a picture of student performance in a school, including the important indicators of assessment and readiness, graduation, diploma strength, and progress.
The purpose of school performance scores is to provide a consistent measure to clearly communicate school quality to families and the public. These scores were developed in part to provide a common framework for discussing school quality.
In 2011, Louisiana shifted to a letter grade system in hopes of offering more easily understood standards for parents and families. Now, Louisiana grades schools, districts, and the state on a scale of A through F, similar to the grading scale used for students. This replaced a star rating system previously in place.
All public schools with sufficient data receive school performance scores. School and district performance scores for the previous year’s assessments are typically released to the public in late October or early November of each year. These scores provide an important indicator of student outcomes in a school.
Louisiana students are assessed annually in grades 3 through 8, and again in the high school grades. Students in grades 3 through 8 take assessments in English Language Arts/literacy, mathematics, science, and social studies. High school students in Louisiana’s public schools also take the ACT in the 11th grade. How students in a school perform on these tests is reflected in the school’s annual report card.