Caddo Parish set the pace for student growth, becoming one of only two districts in Louisiana to improve in all nine categories of student performance assessed by the state, according to data released Wednesday by the Louisiana Department of Education.
The data revealed Caddo earned the highest performance score for a large, urban system and the district doubled the number of schools that increased their performance by at least a letter grade. Additionally, 14 schools ranked in the highest categories of student progress and earned the Top Gains distinction. Furthermore, 10 schools across the district were commended as Equity Honorees – the title garnered for schools that made the highest improvements with student groups including special education, English Language Learners and high poverty student populations.
“We are incredibly excited at today’s announcement by the state Department of Education,” said Dr. T. Lamar Goree, Superintendent of Caddo Schools. “For six long years, we have worked to completely reshape and reform the academic offerings in our district to ensure we are providing equitable opportunities for students. To grow in every category is unheard of but not for the teachers and staff of Caddo Parish. The foundation we have laid will continue to benefit our district for years to come as we look to see additional growth on the road ahead.”
Additionally, Caddo ranked fourth statewide and first in the region in student progress with an overall increase in the district’s performance score of 4.5 points. Caddo held steady with an overall ‘B’ for student progress but saw its biggest gains in the work taking place in high schools.
Critical to Caddo’s growth, the district was commended for the rigor of coursework across Caddo’s high schools and the work done in dual enrollment, career and technical education and providing high-quality opportunities across the district’s campuses. This resulted in Caddo not only seeing an all-time high graduation rate, but students graduating with more meaningful coursework under their belts. Rated as an ‘A’ in preparing students for success in college and career, Caddo was among the top districts in the state for the strength of the district’s diploma.
Setting the bar for advancing student learning opportunities, Woodlawn High School and Huntington High School each saw double-digit gains in student performance compared to 2018. As further evidence of high school improvements, Woodlawn High School rose to a ‘C’ letter grade. This marked the first time in Caddo’s history in which all high schools were rated a ‘C’ or higher in performance.
“For years we heard the misconception that there was no chance all of our schools would be out of failing status, but those who said that didn’t know our students,” Dr. Goree said. “Today, we stand proud to say our schools are rising at some of the fastest rates in the state while also increasing the bar on what it takes to get a diploma from Caddo Schools. It is a new day in Caddo Parish and I am proud to work alongside the educators and leaders who made these accolades a reality.”
Across Caddo Parish, 17 schools in total were rated an ‘A’ for student progress, which analyzes how individual students progress from the beginning of the school year to the end.
In the Transformation Zone, 10 campuses earning an ‘A’ or ‘B’ for student progress with all Zone schools earning a ‘C’ or higher in student growth. Queensborough Elementary led the way in growth with an ‘A’ for student progress which was enough for the school to shed its failing status for the first time in the school’s history.
The Department also rated schools’ early childhood programs and offerings as part of the annual data release. Three Caddo campuses, Mooringsport Elementary, Summer Grove Elementary and University Elementary, earned Excellent ratings for their work with providing high-quality prekindergarten seats. Across the district, seven schools in total landed on the state’s Early Childhood Honor Roll.
“We know all too well the importance of providing children as early as possible with the best educational opportunities in order to support their needs and improve our community,” said Keith Burton, Chief Academic Officer. “Our focus has been on not only improving access to early childhood education but improving the quality of offerings. The ratings provided by DOE are a testament to the emphasis we have placed on this critical time in the life of a child.”
Today’s announcement comes as districts across the state continue to work to meet higher standards under Louisiana’s response to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. To best improve student performance, Caddo invested in top-rated curriculum and aligned resources and trained all teachers on the state standards and the supports available to teachers including models such as the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP).
Caddo’s Performance by the Numbers
10 Caddo Schools increased their performance by a letter grade: Green Oaks Performing Arts Academy, Herndon Magnet School, Huntington High School, North Caddo High School, Queensborough Elementary School, Ridgewood Middle School, Summer Grove Elementary School, Woodlawn Leadership Academy, J.S. Clark Elementary School and Magnolia School of Excellence
14 Caddo Schools were recognized as Top Gains schools: A.C. Steere Elementary School, Blanchard Elementary School, C.E. Byrd High School, Caddo Parish Magnet High School, Caddo Middle Magnet School, Caddo Virtual Academy, Claiborne Fundamental Elementary School, Eden Gardens Fundamental Elementary School, Fairfield Magnet School, Herndon Magnet School, North Highlands Elementary School, Riverside Elementary School, Shreve Island Elementary School and South Highlands Elementary Magnet School
10 schools also earned the 2018 Equity Honoree recognition: Blanchard Elementary School, Caddo Parish Magnet High School, Caddo Parish Middle Magnet School, Claiborne Fundamental Elementary School, Eden Gardens Fundamental Elementary School, Fairfield Magnet School, Herndon Magnet School, North Caddo High School, South Highlands Elementary Magnet School and Youree Drive Middle School
17 schools earned an ‘A’ for progress made with students: A.C. Steere Elementary School, Blanchard Elementary School, C.E. Byrd High School, Caddo Parish Magnet High School, Caddo Parish Middle Magnet School, Caddo Virtual Academy, Claiborne Fundamental Elementary School, Eden Gardens Fundamental Elementary School, Fairfield Magnet School, Herndon Magnet School, North Highlands Elementary School, Queensborough Elementary School, Riverside Elementary School, Shreve Island Elementary School, South Highlands Elementary Magnet School, Southern Hills Elementary School and Westwood Elementary School
2 schools made double-digit gains: Woodlawn High School and Huntington High School