Cancienne reports progress during tenure as sup't

Deidre Cruse

Iberville Parish School Superintendent P. Edward Cancienne Jr., having cleared his annual evaluation by the School Board last week, reported increases in school scores, the number of highly qualified teachers and enrollment during his tenure.

Dr. Cancienne said Iberville was one of the state's top highest-ranking districts in students performing at or above grade level from 2007 to 2011.

In 2009, the district's school performance score was 77.8; nearly 12 points lower than the 89.4 state average. The district improved to 80.3 in 2010, a 3.48 percent increase, compared to 91.3 for the state, he said.

Last year, the parish had one of the largest gains in students scoring at “basic” or above on their standardized tests, behind only the Recovery School District in New Orleans. Iberville scores moved up four points, compared to six for the New Orleans district.

During his first year, the 2008-09 school year, enrollment was 4,167 students. It grew to 4,180 students in 2009-10, to 4,561 students last year and is expected to reach 4,700 this year, the superintendent said.

Some 70 percent of the local district's teachers were considered “highly qualified,” as defined by the federal No Child Left Behind legislation, when Cancienne took his job. That number, he said, has improved to 90.4 percent, better than the state average of 86.5 percent.

Cancienne provided the figures and other information in his superintendent's report at Monday night's School Board meeting.

His report was moved forward in the agenda, Cancienne said, because the board had requested the change so he could set the tone for the board meeting.