On a scale of A-F, Mississippi releases pre-pandemic school, district grades

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Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 1:14 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi Department of Education has released the grade each school received during the 2021-2022 academic school year.

The grades reflect how student achievement has improved after declining during the early part of the pandemic, MDE said.

Approximately 81% of schools and 87% of districts will be rated C or higher for the 2021-22 school year, once the Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) officially approves these grades on September 29.

Though overall grades appear to have improved since 2019, state officials advise caution when interpreting score changes between the 2018-19 and 2021-22 school years. In particular, shifts in performance may be temporarily influenced by factors associated with pandemic disruptions.

“The pandemic not only disrupted teaching and learning, it also impacted the state’s accountability system that evaluates the effectiveness of schools and districts,” said Dr. Kim Benton, state superintendent of education, interim. “While we are encouraged by the tremendous growth, it is especially important this year to look at all the components that make up each school and district grade to get a complete picture of student growth and achievement.”

The calculation of the state’s A-F accountability grades relies heavily on the amount of progress students make in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics from one year to the next, particularly the lowest performing 25% of students.

Overall, students made significant progress between 2020-21 and 2021-22, as schools focused on accelerating learning after the first year of the pandemic.

In addition, the passing requirements for high school Algebra I, English II, Biology and U.S. History assessments were waived in 2020-21, which will affect the graduation rate until all students who tested under the waivers graduate.

Dr. Chris Domaleski, associate director of the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment and chair of the Mississippi Department of Education Technical Advisory Committee, said the 2021-22 grades should always be viewed in the context of the pandemic.

“Schooling has been disrupted for more than two years, which affected the way students learned and were assessed,” Domaleski said. “However, the department responded to these disruptions by making appropriate adjustments to the accountability system while maintaining consistency where possible. This enables the state to continue to provide valuable information about school and district performance in 2021-2022.”

See all grades here.

Here are the top ten districts by subject area:

They represent overall grades 3 through 8 in math and algebra with the percentage of students who are proficient and advanced.

District Name% of PL4 & PL5
Clinton Public School District73.6%
Union County School District73.3%
Petal School District73.0%
Long Bech School District70.9%
Ocean Springs School District69.5%
Neshoba County School District68.8%
Forest County Agricultural High School67.6%
Union Public School District67.1%
Enterprise School District66.5%
Madison County School District66.4%

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