More Ascension Parish Students Scoring At Highest Levels

Allison B. Hudson

Students in Ascension Parish Public Schools continue to improve their scores on the state’s high stakes tests, according to the latest report from the Louisiana Department of Education that was released today (May 24).

The data from this year’s report shows, for the fourth consecutive year, the parish has increased the number of students who score Mastery and Advanced – the two highest levels of the LEAP, iLEAP and GEE tests.

The five scoring levels for these tests are Advanced, Mastery, Basic, Approaching Basic and Unsatisfactory. Students must score a combined Basic/Approaching Basic in the English/language arts and math categories or higher to be deemed proficient.

“Growing the number of students who are proficient in all subject areas is at the very foundation of what we do in Ascension; but, it’s also our goal to help our students excel beyond the promotional standard and perform at the highest achievement levels,” said Ascension Parish School Superintendent Patrice Pujol.

Pujol noted that the she is proud to see that the latest report shows increases in Mastery and Advanced scores in many key areas across the tested grade-levels with some grade levels increasing in all four academic categories.

Students in fourth grade English/language arts had a substantial increase of six percent in the Mastery category and one percent in Advanced. In math, they improved two percent in both Mastery and Advanced, while in science they grew three percent in the Mastery category.

Eighth graders also made significant gains. In the science category, the number of students scoring Mastery grew by eight percent, and in social studies, an additional four percent scored Mastery and three percent more scored Advanced. More eighth graders also scored at the highest levels in English/language arts with three percent more scoring Advanced, and two percent more scoring Mastery.

High school students, not to be outdone by their younger counterparts, increased scores at the highest levels in science and social studies. Most notable was the increase in science with eight percent more students scoring Mastery and two percent more scoring Advanced. And in social studies, the number of students scoring Mastery and Advanced improved by one percent in each category. They also grew their Mastery scores by three percent in math and one percent in English/language arts.

Pujol praised the district’s teachers and administrators for their successful implementation of school improvement initiatives and one-on-one attention to student learning. It is these efforts and the attentiveness to the specific needs of the students that have forged Ascension ahead as one of the state’s top-performing school districts. She also noted that the district is implementing an accelerated academic recovery program next year – known as the Turnaround Zone – to further advance student achievement in the parish