The Jefferson Parish Public School System in Louisiana has made dramatic improvements over the last two to three years on nearly every metric analyzed, with students and schools demonstrating significantly higher performance than three years ago, according to a new report prepared by GCR Inc. for the Jefferson Community Foundation and the Jefferson Business Council.
“This improvement represents an important shift in the educational landscape throughout Jefferson Parish and, most critically, a cause for renewed optimism for the parish’s students and their families,” the report stated.
Among the report’s key findings:
- The district’s overall performance score went up 19 percent from 2010 to 2013, and the 2013 score – 101.4 – was high enough to earn the district a “B,” a significant increase from the “D” it received in 2010.
- Forty-one percent of the district’s schools were rated either an “A” or a “B” in 2012-13, an increase of 27 percentage points from 2010-2011.
- The improvement at the school level translates to more students attending better schools: in 2013, 16,376 students were attending schools rated an “A” or a “B,” compared to 5,843 in 2011. The number of students attending failing schools dropped to 646 from 2,237.
- The district’s graduation rate increased significantly, jumping 8.9 points to 70.4 percent from 2009-10 to 2011-12 and outpacing growth in the statewide rate during the same time period by 3.8 percentage points.
The report concluded by stating: “Teachers, administrators, district leaders, and communities everywhere, of course, constantly strive to improve the quality of education on which students and their families rely. The fact that recent gains of this significant have been made in Jefferson Parish is a reflection of this collective effort, and is an encouraging trend for the parish and its surrounding region.”
Mass Insight Education has worked with the Jefferson Parish Public School System since the fall of 2011. Mass Insight’s initial work with the district initially focused on organizational structure, and more recently, the work expanded to include efforts to grow the Advanced Placement programs at an initial group of district high schools.