Iberville ranks 60th of 69 school districts, but 3 schools rewarded

Deidre Cruse

Iberville Parish’s eight public schools collectively ranked near the bottom of school districts around the state, but three local schools earned labels for “recognized” or “exemplary” scores in 2008, according to a state report released late last week.

Iberville ranked 60th among 69 school districts in the state, and the second lowest of area parishes, according to the Department of Education. Iberville’s district performance score was 72.1 – a one-star rating. Statewide, the performance score was 87.2.

Dr. P. Edward Cancienne Jr., who became superintendent here in June 2007, could not be reached for comment on the scores.

By comparison Ascension Parish ranked 10th, with a 99.8 score; West Baton Rouge ranked 33rd, with an 87.5 score; East Baton Rouge ranked 56th, with a 76.6 score, and Pointe Coupee ranked 62nd, with a 71.8 score. The highest score in the state was 112.6 in the Zachary Community School District, and the lowest was 51.4 in the Recovery School District in the Orleans area.

Statewide, 57.6 percent of the 1,118 schools that received scores in 2008 demonstrated some growth.

Among them were Dorseyville and Iberville elementary schools, both given “exemplary” growth labels for their performance scores. They were among only 140 schools of the 1,118 schools to achieve the top growth label.

In 2007, Dorseyville was labeled as having “minimal” growth, while Iberville improved from “no growth” status.

Crescent Elementary and Junior High School was cited for “recognized” growth, one of 139 in the state to achieve the second rank. Crescent, however, had the highest school performance score of any school in the parish and remains the only local school with a two-star rating.

Dorseyville, Iberville and Crescent all will be eligible for rewards through the state.

In 2007, East Iberville Elementary and High School earned the “exemplary” label with rewards, but slipped this year to one of “minimal” growth.

North Iberville Elementary and High School improved slightly from being labeled as a “school in decline,” to having minimal growth in its performance score.

White Castle High’s label was downgraded slightly from “minimal” to “no growth” status.

Plaquemine High School continued to be labeled as a “school in decline.”

Statewide, 356 of the schools were listed as having “minimal growth,” 180 as having “no growth,” and 221 as being in decline.

E. J. Gay Middle School, no longer operating as a middle school, not only showed “no growth” but was downgraded from a one-star school to “academically unacceptable,” the only school in the parish ever to have gotten that designation.

Crescent was the only school in the parish not recommended for academic assistance.

For grades K-8, 90 percent of the school performance scores are based on assessment tests, but attendance and drop-our rates also are included.

For grades 9-12, 70 percent of the scores are based on assessment tests, and 30 percent is based on a “graduation index.”