Jefferson parish public schools go up whole letter grade in new ranking

HARVEY, La. - The Jefferson Parish Public School System's performance scores rose an entire letter grade from last year.

The new scores, released today by the Louisiana Department of Education, put the Jefferson Parish Public School System two letter grades above it's 2011 ranking and recognized 30 schools in the parish as "top gains" schools. Top gains schools are either "A" schools that improved by 5 or more SPS points, or schools graded "B" or below that improved by 10 or more SPS points.

"This extraordinary growth is a result of all of the incredible work and the dedication of our teachers, principals, staff, and of course, our students and their families," Superintendent James Meza, Jr. said in a press release. "It's not easy to move the largest school district in the state with a diverse student population of more than 46,000 in a short amount of time. But in just two years, we have gone from a 'D' district to a 'B' district – a remarkable transformation."

This year, the Louisiana Department of Education used a new system to calculate the scores that is intended to hold schools to higher standards and reward schools that make progress with struggling students. The new scale ranks the Jefferson parish Public School System as 36th in the state, as opposed to it's spot at 42nd last year under the old system.

"Our goal is to transform all of our schools into 'A' or 'B' schools so that ultimately, our students graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and the workplace," Meza said. "With the continued commitment of our staff, our students, our school board, and our community, we are well on our way to meeting this goal and ensuring that JPPSS fosters the best-educated generation that the parish has ever seen."