Superintendents Awaiting Louisiana's First Letter Grades

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Lots of school superintendents are nervously awaiting Louisiana's first-ever letter grades for about 1,300 public schools. Ascension Parish Superintendent Patrice Pujol tells The Advocate (http://bit.ly/qeFIty ) her district has put together information for principals to relay to parents. Michael Faulk, superintendent of the Central Community School District, said some families will be caught off guard. "Here you have parents, students have been going to school, been involved, and the grades come out and boom," Faulk said. Central's five schools are expected to fare better than most. But leaders of many other school districts are anxious because state officials said in June that 46 percent of the state's nearly 1,300 public schools would get a "D'' or an "F'' if the grades were in effect then. Local school leaders say they expect to get the grades from the state as early as Oct. 3. Exactly when those results will be announced to taxpayers is unclear. Rene Greer, director of communications for the state Department of Education, said the grades should be made public by mid-October. The grades are already a hot topic among superintendents, said Faulk, who is president of the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents. The new ratings stem from a 2010 state law. Grades are linked to annual school performance scores, which mostly reflect how students fared on key tests.

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