SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - More Louisiana students than ever before graduated from high school within four years in 2018, according to results released today by the state’s Department of Education.
Those include Bossier and Caddo public school districts.
The data show Caddo’s graduation rate rose by 7.1 percent and put Caddo in the top 10 districts in Louisiana for annual growth. The district now has a graduation rate at 80.9 percent.
“Today’s release is the result of years of hard work by incredible teachers and staff to develop strategies which we knew would take time to show success, but were critical to addressing graduation rates in our community,” Caddo schools Superintendent T. Lamar Goree, said.
“After five years as superintendent, we are seeing the result of years of a foundation being cultivated. We still have yet more work to do, but this progress is a strong indication of the upward momentum taking place in Caddo.”
In addition, African-American students in Caddo high schools saw the highest single-year gain - nearly 9 percent.
Caddo also saw an 8.6 percent gain in economically disadvantaged students graduating and an 8.4 percent gain in graduation rates for students with disabilities.
“Equity has been a defining word for our district in doing everything we can to provide access to opportunities and supports for our most at-risk students to see success,” Goree said. “The work is far from easy, but incredibly rewarding for our teachers and staff as they see our students go on to college and careers more than ever before. It is the hard work of classroom teachers and our administrators that you are seeing reflected today.”
At a news conference Wednesday, many of Caddo’s principals cited teamwork and relationship building as ways they’ve gotten more students across the stage.
Woodlawn, Huntington, Southwood and North Caddo high schools all had big gains in graduation rates.
Across the river, Bossier School District received news that 85.7 percent of its previous class graduated, reflecting a gain of 2.4 percentage points from the previous year and setting a record for the number of students earning their high school diploma.
“This is the culmination of a lot of hard work,” Bossier schools Superintendent Mitch Downey said.
“Our high school accountability coaches are one of the main reasons we are seeing this level of success. They focus on opportunities for our students and outcomes, while working in partnership with their entire teaching staff that is also working collaboratively," he continued.
"It is all vital to our children’s academic success and directly impacts school scores and graduation rates.”
Benton, Bossier and Plain Dealing high schools are campuses with some of the biggest gains.
Not only did more students graduate than ever before, but more than half of Bossier Parish’s senior Class of 2017-18 earned credentials beyond their high school diploma, including advanced placement, dual enrollment and industry-based certifications.
As a result, a rise of more than 2 percentage points also was seen in the district’s strength of diploma.