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Praises from Superintendent Stilley

Praises from Superintendent Stilley

Neither the shift to a more challenging, high quality curriculum nor efforts by the state to fine tune their "minimum standards" hindered Tangipahoa Parish public school students, who maintained “steady growth” on the LEAP 2025 standardized tests this past spring.

This week, Tangipahoa Parish School Superintendent Melissa Stilley praised local teachers, support workers, parents, and most notably the students, who overcame many challenges this past academic year to raise the bar and maintain the progress the district has experienced on the state accountability test.

“Over the course of the last year, we raised the bar in every way, and our students met those challenges head-on and maintained steady progress toward our ultimate goal of every child mastering every skill set at or above grade level,” Stilley said. 

The Superintendent said she was especially pleased with the scores in light of the district’s move to implement “Tier I,” high quality curriculum across the parish.

“Traditionally, the data shows that in year one of a new curriculum implementation district scores will dip slightly as students adjust to the more rigorous standards,” Stilley explained. “That was not the case in our Tangipahoa Parish Schools.”

Stilley pointed to five schools who all posted significant gains in this year’s testing cycle. 
*Chesbrough Elementary experienced an 8 percent growth in their mastery level across the board, including a 19 percent jump in their math scores and a five percent gain in their social studies scores; 
*OW Dillon Leadership Academy experienced a six point gain in their overall scores. In math, OWD student scores increased five percent, while their English scores rose 11 percent;
*Southeastern Lab School experienced an eight point gain in their mastery scores across the board. In English, students saw an 8 percent gain in their scores and a 9 percent gain in their social studies scores;
*At Amite Westside Middle Magnet, math scores rose six percentage points, and 
*At Woodland Park, English scores increase seven percentage points over the same time last year.

“I am so proud of the progress we are showing, and I’m excited about where we will be this time next year and moving forward,” the superintendent said.

Stilley said that on an individual school level, students at one site may have dropped one point, while at another site, scores increased. The overall result is that student scores are steady, and Stilley said that is cause for celebration moving into the new school year.

“This year, we are focusing on implementing the new Tier I science curriculum as it becomes available. We will continue to implement and align our Tier I math and English curriculum and offer additional remediation and support to those students who are struggling with the transition, as well as continuing our focus on truancy and chronic absenteeism which limit our students’ access to critical time in the classroom so they can work on those grade-level requirements,” Stilley said.

State Superintendent John White said of the overall progress of Louisiana students in this year’s round of testing, “In its Every Student Succeeds Act plan, Louisiana outlined ambitious academic expectations to guide us through 2025….Our students and educators are making gains year over year. The results also illuminate the challenges ahead, in particular the needs of struggling students, who are often falling behind as math concepts get more complex or because they have not mastered the fundamentals of reading.”

Additional data will be released over the coming weeks leading up to the fall announcement of individual “School Performance Scores,” which rate each school with a specific score/letter grade based on student performance.