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Carey M. Wright, Ed.D.

, State Superintendent of Education


Office of Communications & Legislative Support
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR, Director of Communications *601-359-3706 *FAX: 601-359-3033
Jean Cook, APR, Communications Specialist *601-359-3519

NEWS RELEASE

EMBARGOED until 2 p.m. September 17, 2019

Three Out of Four Schools, 70% of Districts Rated C or Higher

JACKSON, Miss. – Nearly three quarters of schools and 70% of districts will be rated C or higher
when the Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) approves accountability grades Thursday
for the 2018-19 school year. The grades show a three-year trend of continuous school and
district improvement.

The SBE set a goal in 2016 that all schools and districts be rated C or higher. Since that time, the
percentage of schools meeting this goal has risen from 62.4% in 2016 to 73.5% in 2019. The
percentage of districts meeting the goal has increased from 62.2% to 69.7%.

Over the same period, 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.

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. “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 schools and districts rated D or F dropped significantly since 2016, from
37.6% to 26.2% for schools, and 37.8% to 29.0% for districts.

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

Central High School Building  359 North West Street  P.O. Box 771  Jackson, MS 39205-0771
Carey M. Wright, Ed.D., State Superintendent of Education
Office of Communications & Legislative Support
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR, Director of Communications *601-359-3706 *FAX: 601-359-3033
Jean Cook, APR, Communications Specialist *601-359-3519

from year to year on the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) tests for English
language arts (ELA) and Mathematics. These tests are aligned to the Mississippi College and
Career Ready Standards and are administered annually to students in grades 3-8 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:

District Grade 2017-18 2018-19


A 18 31
B 42 35
C 37 35
D 28 23
F 22 19
N/A* 2
Total 147 145

School Grade 2017-18 2018-19


A 181 196
B 247 280
C 191 169
D 165 153
F 104 77
N/A* 2
Total 888 877
*Two new charter schools that opened in 2018-19 do not yet have enough data to earn a grade.

Central High School Building  359 North West Street  P.O. Box 771  Jackson, MS 39205-0771
Carey M. Wright, Ed.D., State Superintendent of Education
Office of Communications & Legislative Support
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR, Director of Communications *601-359-3706 *FAX: 601-359-3033
Jean Cook, APR, Communications Specialist *601-359-3519

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

Alcorn School District


Amory School District
Bay St. Louis Waveland School District
Gulfport School District
Hancock County School District
Harrison County School District
Lowndes County School District
New Albany School District
Stone County School District

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, International Baccalaureate, Cambridge, and dual
credit/dual enrollment courses.

Resources:

 View a brief video that explains Mississippi’s A-F accountability system:


https://www.mdek12.org/OCGR/mact
 Learn more about the components of the accountability system for elementary, middle
and high schools: www.mdek12.org/OCGR/mact

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Central High School Building  359 North West Street  P.O. Box 771  Jackson, MS 39205-0771