The State Education Department is reporting increases in School Performance Scores at Louisiana high schools.

School Performance Scores for high schools are measured in four areas: End of Course exams, ACT scores, graduation rate and cohort graduation rate index.

At Bossier Parish Public Schools, Benton and Parkway showed big gains. Benton high posted gains in each category, most notably an 8.2-point jump in the cohort graduation rate and a more-than-6-point rise in student performance on End of Course exams. Benton's school letter grade has been raised to an A, earning it the distinction of being named a Top Gains School.

Parkway saw its graduation rate escalate 8.5 points compared to the previous academic year, and ACT scores rise by 2.7 points.

Performance scores will be released in December for Airline, Bossier, Haughton and Plain Dealing High Schools. That's because they are considered combination schools, where academically-struggling eighth-grade students who are over-age are placed on high school campuses. Their School Performance Scores will be made available when elementary and middle school results are unveiled.

"We are very proud of the improvements achieved at Benton and Parkway High Schools and commend the staff and students for a job well done," said Bossier Schools Superintendent D.C. Machen. "We feel confident we will continue to see these trends of improvement reflected in our remaining high schools, as well, once their School Performance Scores and letter grades are released by the LDOE."

In Caddo Parish, all district high schools have shown growth. Three schools have moved up a letter grade in performance: C.E. Byrd earned an 'A', Captain Shreve rose to a 'B' and Southwood High grew to a 'C'. All Caddo high schools increased their school performance scores, and Captain Shreve and Caddo Parish Magnet were awarded Top Gains distinctions.

"We are moving at a fast pace in the right direction for our children, and I applaud the efforts of students and staff, which is reflected in today's data release," said Caddo Schools Superintendent Lamar Goree. "To see all of our schools make gains is no small feat and should be celebrated as we continue on a path to excellence for all children."

At this week's announcement of the Milken Educator Award at C.E. Byrd, Principal Jerry Badgley took some time to share the news of the school's 'A' distinction. He said this is proof of the efforts made in recent years to increase rigor and preparedness for college and career.

"Our teachers work well together, plan together and want to do well for each child and that is what you see reflected in the data," Badgley said. "It's their efforts and the efforts of our administrators and staff that you can see. Our staff works to ensure each student is performing to the best of their ability, whether that means increasing access to AP, dual enrollment or CLEP, or providing strong interventions to address deficiencies."

Here are a few more highlights from Caddo Schools:

Caddo high schools increasing performance by a letter grade
· C.E. Byrd High School
· Captain Shreve High School
· Southwood High School
Campuses earning double-digit gains
· Captain Shreve High School
· Northwood High School
· Southwood High School
Schools earning Top Gains status
· Caddo Parish Magnet High School
· Captain Shreve High School
Schools seeing an increase in SPS
· C.E. Byrd High School
· Caddo Parish Magnet High School
· Captain Shreve High School
· Fair Park College Preparatory School
· North Caddo High School
· Northwood High School
· Southwood High School
· Woodlawn Leadership Academy

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