While the 2018 school performance scores are available, understanding and interpreting them can be a little confusing. To crack the code and find out how East Baton Rouge Parish Schools performed for the last report card cycle, we spoke with Andrea O’Konski, chief of accountability, assessment and evaluation for EBRPSS. The school district acknowledges there is still room for improvement, however local schools are closing the achievement gap and are making some note-worthy strides.
This year, a new measurement index called progress recognizes whether or not students are on track to attain the mastery achievement level regardless of where they started at the beginning of the year.
“We were so pleased to see that over 70% of district schools earned an A or B for progress and 95% earned a C or higher,” O’Konski said. “The district showed positive growth from previous years, earning its second highest district performance score to date under the accountability system in place since 2013.”
In the Fall of 2018, 20 district schools earned the Top Gains Honoree recognition awarded by the Louisiana Department of Education for demonstrated excellence in student progress from one school year to the next year while thirteen EBR district schools earned a similar award as Equity Honorees for demonstrated excellence in educating students with disabilities, English learners, and/or economically disadvantaged students. All of the schools, except for one, are Title I schools serving those most at risk.
EBR surpassed the state averages in both the number of advanced placement tests given, and students achieving a score of 3 or higher. The district was ranked No. 1 in the state by accomplishing a 5% increase in this area. “We are extremely proud to report that the opportunities for students to earn college credits for both advanced placement exams and dual enrollment courses resulted in an estimated 6,966 college credits earned by EBR high school students during the 2017- 2018 school year,” O’Konski said.
The district was also recognized by the LDOE for a 742.9% increase in the percent change in number of African American students earning qualifying scores on the advanced placement exam over time since 2012.
Superintendent of EBR Schools, Warren Drake added, “In order to narrow the achievement gap we are focused, first and foremost, on creating safe environments where students can grow, learn, and thrive. Our teachers and administrators show students how important their engagement is by putting the priorities of the kids first.”
Teaching students to persevere through challenging situations is a quality that will help them succeed in the future. Children remain motivated learners when they are praised for their hard work, their creativity, their focus and their persistence. East Baton Rouge students will continue improving scores, but ultimately EBR Schools is more concerned with the future citizens we are molding. “With a focus on academics, athletics, arts and character we are Building the Future of Baton Rouge,” said Drake.