JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) will release school district letter grades for the 2013-14 school year following Friday’s Board of Education meeting in Jackson.
This year’s letter grades are based on Mississippi’s new accountability model, which will show how schools and districts performed after implementing the state’s new, more rigorous college and career-ready standards.
But the letter grades will mean little after the MDE “froze” the ratings based on results from testing last spring because 2013-14 was considered a transitional year. School districts were adjusting instruction to the new Common Core State Standards, but students were still tested under the old standards. This year marks the end of the MCT2 and SATP tests statewide, as schools in the state will fully switch to Common Core and students will take the PARCC assessment in the spring.
“It was a transitional period for all the school districts across the state,” Water Valley School Superinten-dent Kim Chrestman told the Herald about the test results. “The likelihood that scores go up is not good,” he added.
For the last two years, both Davidson Elementary School and Water Valley High School have received D ratings, giving the district an overall D rating. In Coffeeville, the high school earned a D rating last year, moving up from an F in 2012. The elementary school received a C rating, also moving up a letter grade from the previous year. The improvements gave the Coffeeville School District an overall C rating last year.
With the MDE freeze, neither district can drop below their current rating. If test scores indicate an improvement, the schools’ ratings could increase.
The state’s accountability model determines performance classifications for schools and districts from highest to lowest, A-F. The accountability model factors in student growth, achievement, and graduation rates.