St. John schools report better scores

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 11, 2005

RESERVE- District Performance Scores for St. John the Baptist Parish Schools have significantly improved over the last two years, according to a report released by the State Department of Education. The report also shows improvement for the district in all subgroup categories.

The state report shows that the district has increased its score by 6.9 points from the 2001-2002 school year to the 2003-2004 school year, ranking St. John the Baptist Parish Schools among the state’s top 25 most-improved school districts.

The public school district’s DPS was 68.9 in 2004, up 2.1 points from 66.8 in 2003, which was up 4.8 points from 62.0 in 2002.

“We’re pleased with our marked progress. And while our scores are not as good as we would like them to be, they are continually improving and we’re steadily moving toward our goal. All indicators show that we’re changing for the better,” said Superintendent Michael Coburn.

The DPS is a “roll up” of individual student scores on the LEAP 21/GEE 21 and Iowa tests, as well as attendance and dropout rates.

Included in the DPS are Subgroup Performance Scores, which measure progress among ethnic groups, economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities. St. John the Baptist Parish Schools improved in all areas.

African-American students in St. John the Baptist Parish’s public schools improved from 57.6 in 2003 to 62.6 in 2004, while economically disadvantaged students improved from 62.4 to 65.8, and students with disabilities jumped from 30.3 to 44.0 during that same time period.

“We’re especially pleased to see improvement in every subgroup. This growth is directly attributed to the hard work and dedication of our administrators, principals and teachers who are committed to making a difference in the classroom,” said Coburn.

The report also graded the district as “highly responsive,” which is the highest label given by the state to districts that work to place certified teachers in the classroom. St. John the Baptist Parish Schools has more than 90 percent of certified teachers in classrooms throughout the district.

The state report noted that 86 percent of Louisiana’s public school districts improved their scores over last year, and every single district has improved since 2002. Madison Parish leads the state in growth for two years, improving 14.9 points from 2002 to 2004, while East Baton Rouge Parish ranks last in the state with only 0.5 points of growth for that same time period.