Celebrate a tale of success

Published: Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 7:35 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 7:35 p.m.

In Louisiana, where we spend so much time and effort focused on the unfortunate consequences of generations of educational neglect, it is difficult sometimes to remember how many success stories there are.

But people in our region don’t have to look far to find 17 good stories of educational success.

That is how many local schools in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes were named to the state’s list of “Top Gain Schools.”

In Terrebonne Parish, the top schools are: Boudreaux Canal Elementary, Broadmoor Elementary, Dularge Middle, Evergreen Junior High, Honduras Elementary, Houma Junior High, Montegut Middle, Mulberry Elementary, Schriever Elementary and Grand Caillou Middle School.

In Lafourche Parish, the schools are: Bayou Blue Elementary, Central Lafourche High, Chackbay Elementary, Golden Meadow Lower Elementary, Lockport Upper Elementary, Sixth Ward Middle and South Lafourche High School.

This list of impressive achievement does not fit into the pessimistic view we too often take of our education system. But it does offer a testament to the dedication and hard work of so many local students, teachers, administrators and parents — the folks who make our schools work.

These schools weren’t picked out of the blue. They had to earn the distinction by showing growth in their school performance scores and increasing the number of students scoring well in class.

And they don’t just get a place on the list, although that honor is nice in itself. Because of their success, each of these schools is being rewarded with $8,500 from the state.

Satisfying the requirements for the designation put these 17 local schools in a group with only about a quarter of the state’s schools.

That is a great achievement and one well worth celebrating.

“We’re very proud of these schools for meeting these targets,” said Carol Davis, Terrebonne’s assistant superintendent. “Many of these schools have been meeting these targets several years in a row, so it’s nice that the state is recognizing them.”

It is nice, of course.

More than that, though, it gives local folks a good reason to believe that the school systems are working for us.

There is still plenty of room for improvement. But compared to a decade or so ago, the schools and the state education system as a whole have come a long way.

The institution of real accountability at the classroom, school and district level has already shown some positive effects, and the continued emphasis on results should continue to pay off with even more positive stories like this one.

We don’t always get to celebrate good stories about education in Louisiana. But if we look around us, there are plenty of good ones out there.

Congratulations to all the students and teachers who had a hand in making this impressive designation happen.

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