BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)– This past school year, Louisiana’s school districts experienced numerous achievements in addition to navigating a few pitfalls. These are detailed in the Performance Scores the state rolled out Wednesday, November 16.

Louisiana Department of Education Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley said in terms of the state’s performance, we’re on an upward climb.

It was also noted that Louisiana’s schools have fared better than many other states did during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Today we celebrate. Tomorrow we’re back to the grind,” Brumley said.

The state scored a high C (77.1) academically in 2019.

Fast forward to this year, and Louisiana is finally back to where it was pre-pandemic.

Courtesy: Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE)

“We are back to that pre-pandemic number, but we know that we need a future that is much stronger in terms of academic outcomes for our kids,” said Brumley.

Brumley went on to say that the 2021-2022 school year shows improvements in some of our major subject areas.

“We saw a 3% increase in mastery rates in English, for math. And we saw a 2% increase in our mastery rates for science,” he noted.

However, Brumley added that there was a slight decline in graduation rates.

“There was a more ambitious set of waivers that were provided to high school seniors as a result of the pandemic, creating more of them graduating even without meeting some of the traditional graduation requirements.”

The scores are also broken down into district performance.

Scores from 2021 were a projection, so it was decided to compare them with scores from 2019.

“This truly is a bit of a “Back to the Future” moment,” Brumley joked.

For example, Zachary, a small school district, is listed top of the rank this year. 

They said in statement:

Our district was named the top-performing district in the state.  We are very excited and proud of our staff and students.  I congratulate the entire Zachary community. I am so very proud of our staff and how hard they work each day to ensure that our students are successful in all that they do.  Our staff continually focuses on individual student growth by providing them not only with high-quality instruction, but also encouragement that they need to succeed.  I am especially proud that we have exceeded our pre-pandemic scores!

While Ascension and Livingston Parishes, both stayed on par, with their official 2019 scores.

Ascension Parish Schools said in a statement:

Ascension Parish, once again, achieved an “A” rating. We are one of only seven districts and the largest school district in Louisiana to earn this highest grade level rating! Our District Performance Score is 92, which is up from 91 last year and is the fourth-highest score in the state. This score is comprised of a variety of measures including performance on state assessments…”

Livingston Parish schools said in a statement:

Livingston Parish Public Schools’ academic performance remained static with the district’s pre-COVID scores, however, that performance fell short of the state’s top-ten ranking, unlike past comparisons…Livingston Parish Public Schools received an 88.5 District Performance Score (DPS)…”

Superintendent Joe Murphy said, “…For our district to hold student performance steady for the past two years through the pandemic and major storms, like Hurricane Ida, is a testament to all our employees and their dedication to our children. But the fact that we have not grown our overall score, and we are seeing a fall in our assessment scores, is evidence of the crisis we are facing. We must make every effort to recruit and retain the very best and brightest educational minds.”

Brumly said, “If we stay the course on literacy. If we refresh the way in which we think about math, we’ll continue to see improvement in the state of Louisiana.”

East Baton Rouge (EBR) Parish Schools performance slightly declined from 2019, but overall Brumley said, the scores are a step in the right direction.

BRProud reached out to EBR Schools for a statement.

As of Wednesday night, EBR Schools replied as follows via an email: “Our analytics team members are compiling the EBRPSS numbers. We are excited to share some exceptional areas of progress and can send you a statement shortly.”

Superintendent Brumley said the work is not over, and that he intends to roll out additional programs designed to meet Louisiana’s education needs.