Letter Grades & Their Corresponding School Performance Scores
Next school year the state of Louisiana will apply a letter grade to each school based on it’s School Performance Score (SPS). Currently our schools are given 1 to 5 stars based on their performance level. If a letter grade were applied to the current SPS for some of the most highly touted schools I believe many people would be surprised to see the letter grade of those schools.
2010-2011 School Year
Letter Grade with SPS
Now that we know which letter grade pertains to which school performance score we now know that our accountability system is failing many of our kids even when we are told by the State Department of Education that our schools have stars. I was appalled to find out that the level of SPS scores lead us to understand how many students are scoring below basic on the LEAP and GEE tests.
Letter Grade and Corresponding % of Students Scoring Below Basic
Many of the charters the RSD claim are high performing, fall in that D range. Do you consider a school that can have between 37-61% of their kids scoring below basic on the state test high performing? Why has the Louisiana Department of Education assigned stars to schools that are failing large percentages of students on the state assessments? This practice gives the schools, community and the students a false sense of accomplishment. If we hope to improve our children’s academic achievement, we must be honest about where they are performing.
This is a list of schools whose current scores would qualify as “D” level schools:
KIPP Mc Donogh 15
Mc Donogh 35
KIPP Central City
N.O. Charter Science and Math
NOLA College Prep
Mc Donogh #28 City Park Academy
Mc Donogh #42
Many of these schools are thought of as “good” schools. Some are even called “High Performing Charters” A schools has a LEAP/GEE failure rates between 37-61% should not be considered high performing in an accountability system that values high academic achievement.
We have been told that charter schools are the solution to our failing schools problem. All but 4 schools listed above are charter schools. The Recovery School District (RSD) operates 2 of the non charter schools and the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) operates the other 2 schools. The fact that some schools are charter schools does not necessarily mean that they are higher performing schools. The term “Charter” simply indicates that the school is operating under a non democratically elected governance structure. Clearly many of the charter schools in New Orleans are just as academically inferior as some of the schools that were taken from the Orleans Parish School Board after Katrina.
The fact that so many of our schools continue to produce high numbers of students scoring below Basic on the LEAP and GEE is evidence of the failure of Louisiana’s Accountability System. It is time to press the reset button and come up with research based practices to improve the academic performance of our children and stop pretending that the type of governance structure has a positive impact on student academic achievement.