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Mississippi schools show a trend of continuous improvement



Photo from the Vicksburg Warren School District website

The Mississippi Department of Education announced that the state’s public and public charter schools are advancing toward an overall goal of achieving C or higher ratings for all schools and districts in the state.

For the 2018-19 school year, nearly three quarters of the state’s schools and 70 percent of its districts will be rated C or higher when the State Board of Education approves accountability scores later this week.

“The grades show a three-year trend of continuous school and district improvement,” MDE said in a statement released today, Sept. 17.

The board set its goal In 2016, and since that time, the percentage of schools meeting the goal has risen from 62.4 percent in 2016 to 73.5 percent in 2019. The number of schools and districts earning an A has more than doubled, with A-rated schools jumping from 88 to 196, and A-rated districts increasing from 14 to 31.

The percentage of districts meeting the SBE goal has increased from 62.2 percent to 69.7 percent since 2016.

Among the 140 districts and five charter schools, 46 increased their letter grade from 2017-18 to 2018-19. Among the state’s 877 schools, 258 increased their letter grade from last year.

“Mississippi schools and districts are achieving at higher levels each year, and their grades demonstrate how well they are serving the children in their classrooms,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education, in the release. “I am extremely proud of our students and their families and every teacher, staff member, and leader who work hard every day in our schools and districts across the state. Together, families, communities and educators are preparing students to be successful in college, the workforce and life.”

The percentage of Mississippi schools and districts rated D or F dropped significantly since 2016, from 37.6 percent to 26.2 percent for schools, and 37.8 percent to 29.0 percent for districts.

The unofficial ratings show that the Vicksburg Warren School District has retained its D rating from the 2017-2018 academic year. Schools in the district are rated as follows:

School Grade
Bovina Elementary School A
Warrenton Elementary School B
Redwood Elementary School B
Bowmar Avenue School B
Beechwood Elementary School C
South Park Elementary School C
Sherman Ave Elementary C
Warren Central High School D
Vicksburg High School D
Vicksburg Intermediate D
Warren Central Intermediate D
Dana Road Elementary D
Warren Central Junior High School D
Vicksburg Junior High School F

Mississippi’s A-F accountability system evaluates how well schools and districts are performing each year. Accountability grades are based, in part, on how well students perform and progress from year to year on the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program tests for English language arts and Mathematics. These tests are aligned to the Mississippi College and Career Ready Standards and are administered annually to students in grades 3 through 8 and in high school. Overall, students showed statistically significant gains in both ELA and Mathematics from 2017-18 to 2018-19.

“Student achievement on MAAP reached an all-time high in 2018-19, because teachers are challenging students to achieve at a higher level,” Wright said. “I am a firm believer that students can and will achieve more when they are challenged and supported by great teachers who help them meet higher expectations.”

The statewide district and school grade comparisons from 2017-18 to 2018-19 are as follows:

*Two new charter schools that opened in 2018-19 do not yet have enough data to earn a grade.

Among the 31 A-rated districts, nine districts earned an A for the first time in 2018-19:

The accountability system places an emphasis on the progress students make in ELA and Mathematics from year to year, particularly the lowest performing 25% of students, and factors in how well students perform on science tests in grades 5 and 8, and the progress that English Learners (EL) make toward achieving proficiency in the English language. Accountability grades for high schools and districts include the four-year graduation rate, student performance on Biology, U.S. History and ACT tests, and student participation and performance in advanced coursework such as Advanced Placement and dual credit/dual enrollment courses.


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