STAND FOR CHILDREN LOUISIANA RELEASES GUIDE TO NEW GRADING SYSTEM FOR SCHOOLS

Staff reports

On the heels of the state board of education giving final approval to a new grading system for Louisiana’s schools, Stand for Children Louisiana released a new guide today aimed at helping parents, educators, and the general public better understand the new system and it what it means for children across Louisiana.  The new system represents a shift from rewarding schools merely for attendance to instead requiring higher expectations with the belief that all children can learn and succeed in the classroom.  

Wiley Brazier, Stand Parent Leader said, “In Louisiana, out of 100 students who enter high school together as freshmen, only 70 will graduate from high school within four years.  Only 49 of those 70 will enter college within one year.  Of those 49, fewer than 19 will finish their college degree within 6 years. That means that only 19 in 100 current 15 year old olds are likely to finish college.   For too long, I believed all children were receiving a quality education. Along the way, I discovered that most other parents thought the same.  The unfortunate reality, as we can see from the numbers, is that it’s simply not true.  Our children have fallen behind and have not been given the education, tools, and support they need to succeed and thrive.”   

The new grading system, set to roll out during the 2012-2013 school year, focuses on student achievement and goes a long way toward ensuring that every child is college and career ready by rewarding and recognizing schools for their persistence, hard work, and academic gains.  Schools will no longer be rewarded for attendance or get credit for students who fall below a performance level of “basic”.  With Advanced Placement (AP) participation being strongly linked to the chances of college enrollment, higher college grade point averages, and on-time attainment of a Bachelor’s degree, schools will earn more points for students who graduate not only with a high school diploma but also with AP exam scores and college credits.  The new guide released today outlines several examples with calculations to show exactly how the grading system will reward schools for meeting and exceeding high expectations, preparing kids for college and careers, and overall academic gains and success.

Rayne Martin, Executive Director of Stand for Children Louisiana said, “We put this guide together so parents, educators, and others across Louisiana could have immediate access to the details of system, how it works, and see for themselves how it focuses on setting high expectations based upon the belief that all children can learn.  We’re excited to have this great tool and to be able to make it available to the public!”

“At Stand for Children, we believe all children – regardless of zip code, race, or background – can   learn and can succeed.  As such, we should have high expectations for our students and we must shift the emphasis from rewarding schools for attendance to rewarding them for achievement of those high expectations that ultimately result in more kids who are college and career ready when they graduate.  Our children are more than deserving and well overdue for schools that are incredible places to learn and succeed and we are glad that our state leaders and the board agree that the time make this happen is now”, says Martin.

The new guide, “Raising the Bar:  Increasing Expectations, Increasing Student Achievement”, can be found on the Stand for Children website at www.stand.org/louisiana or by sending an email to cbroussard@stand.org .