The accountability model measures student performance on more rigorous curriculum and assessments.
Schools and districts received performance classification letter grades of “A,” “B,” “C,” “D” and “F.”
The new performance classification labels replaced the formerly used labels of Star, High Performing, Successful, Academic Watch, Low Performing, At-Risk of Failing and Failing.
Only three school districts earned an “A” this year – Clinton School District, Enterprise School District and Pass Christian School District.
Classifications included achievement and academic growth or improvement.
Achievement is measured by the Quality of Distribution Index (QDI), with the minimum QDI of zero and the maximum at 300.
The state’s QDI is 154.
Growth, on the other hand, is based on whether students demonstrate performance equal to or better than expected based on how they performed the previous school year.
For this year only, graduation rates for schools were not included in the accountability measures as recommended by the Accountability Task Force.
Dr. Wayne Gann, chairman of the Mississippi Board of Education, said the task force found that all districts were not held to the same standard for graduation rates, and that it needed to develop a fair and equitable system for graduation rates that held all districts and schools accountable.
Benoit School District, which had a previous rating of Low-performing (F) last year, improved to a D this year.
The Cleveland School District, which had a previous rating of Academic Watch (D), remained the same with a D grade this year.
North Bolivar School District, which held a previous rating of Academic Watch (D), also remained the same with a D grade this year.
The Shaw School District received a grade of D, which is the same as its previous Academic Watch (D) classification.
The Mound Bayou School District score of C makes the district the most successful one in the area. The C grade is the same as the previous assessment of Successful (C).
West Bolivar School District is the only one to drop to a lower assessment. Previously the district was classified as Academic Watch (D) and that assessment dropped to an F grade in 2010-2011.
“We’re never satisfied when performance is at the “D” or “F” level. We believe as we continue to work with districts in this transition period to improve education, we will see improvements for children in our state,” said Dr. Lynn House, interim state superintendent.
The letter grading system was implemented to provide communities with a clear understanding of how their schools and districts are performing upon full implementation of the rigorous Common Core Standards in 2014-15.
The Mississippi Board of Education voted to adopt Common Core State Standards in 2010.
Common Core is not a federal program but rather a state-led initiative that has been adopted by 44 states committed to developing standards for proficiency in English language arts and mathematics in grades K-12.
This initiative provides consistency across states, helps students prepare to compete globally and allows for the development of a common assessment.
For a break down of assessment grades for individual schools within these the local districts see Sunday's edition of The Bolivar Commercial.