Two years ago, the Louisiana Elementary School (LES) was designated a “Focus School” by the Missouri Department of Secondary and Elementary Education (DESE) after some students’ test scores came in under department standards.
As a result, the school was ordered by DESE to improve the scores in the “super subgroup” of students in third, fourth and fifth grade who had not met the standards.
The subgroup is made up of black, Hispanic and special education students, along with those who speak another language and those who receive free and reduced lunches.
That subgroup improved on test scores last year and “have made great progress,” according to DESE spokesman J.D. King in a report to the Louisiana R-II School Board at its Monday, June 16 meeting.
King also explained that LES barely fell into the focus school category.
State standards demand that 31 percent of the subgroup be proficient or advanced in language arts and math. In 2012, LES missed the mark by 1.6 percent when 29.4 percent of the subgroup scored in the proficient to advanced range.
“That equals about one and one-half kids,” said LES Principal Stacy Hamlett.
King said he also understood Superintendent Dr. Richard Basden’s frustration with the focus school designation, because LES had just been named a Distinction in Performance school as well by the state.
In 2013-2014, the subgroup raised its proficient and advanced range to 32.6 percent, an indication of hard work by teachers and students, King said.
While that was a 3.2 percent improvement, the state is looking for the subgroup to improve another 21.8 percent over the next two years, King said.
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