Thursday, July 14, 2016

Clinton, Madison, & Rankin get A grades in 2014-2015 accountability results

 -No failing school districts
-All but three "A" school districts had lower grades but received waivers that increased their grade.
-Local ratings posted at end of post.
-PARCC was rough. 

The Mississippi Department of Education issued this statement and the 2014-2015 accountability results for Mississippi public school districts and individual public schools:

The Mississippi Department of Education today released letter grades for schools and districts based on Mississippi’s A-F accountability system that evaluates how schools and districts performed in the 2014-15 school year.

Official district grades for 2014-15 include 19 “A” districts, 43 “B” districts, 54 “C” districts, 30 “D” districts and no “F” districts. More districts moved from a “D” to a “C” label when compared to the 2013-14 official district letter grades. The number of “A” and “B” districts remained unchanged from the previous school year.

This year’s results reflect the final year of a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education to compensate for the state transitioning to higher standards of learning. The waiver allows a school to retain the letter grade it received in the 2013-14 school year if the 2014-15 grade is lower as a result of assessment results. Waiver grades are the official grades for 2014-15. Starting with the 2015-16 school year, there will be no waiver in effect. 

The Mississippi State Board of Education is expected to approve the 2014-15 accountability results during its July 14 Board meeting. Accountability labels are typically reported in the fall following the end of a school year; however, results were delayed because of data quality errors with PARCC (Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) and DLM (Dynamic Learning Maps), the alternate assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities. (KF note: MDE did not get the PARCC results until December.)

“Our superintendents have worked diligently to implement higher learning goals in their districts, and the teachers and administrators should be commended for their hard work as evidenced by Mississippi’s performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “The waiver has enabled them to continue this important work without having to worry about being sanctioned if their test scores dropped during the transition period.”

Because the 2014-15 letter grades are based on the last year of the transition period, Wright noted that schools and districts should pay attention to their graduation and proficiency rates between the 2013-14 school year and the 2014-15 school year to determine whether student outcomes are improving.

The Mississippi Assessment Program (MAP), which students took in the 2015-16 school year, also measured the state’s standards for college and careers. Scores from this test will mark a new starting point for measuring student performance.

“Parents and communities will have better information to determine if their children and schools are meeting expectations for college and career preparation,” Wright said.

The Mississippi Statewide Accountability System rates schools and school districts with the letter grades A, B, C, D, and F. The following scales were used to assign letter grades:

The accountability system factors in student proficiency, a standards-based growth model, and the four-year graduation rate, if the school has a 12th grade. The system is designed to present a more transparent picture of how well schools are serving students at all levels.

The accountability system also places a greater emphasis on student academic growth, particularly the lowest performing 25 percent of students. Students meet growth if their scores improve from one proficiency level to the next, or move sufficiently within the lower proficiency levels.

“The state will be experiencing growing pains as we continue to raise the bar for academic standards, but I believe as we challenge students, we will help equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in college, career and life,” said Dr. John Kelly, chairman of the State Board of Education.

Kingfish note: The report is posted below.  Here are some numbers culled from the avalanche of stats:

*The rating for 78 school districts increased because of the waiver.   Here are the number of ratings that increased because of the waiver.

A Ratings

6 districts increased from B to A
10 districts increased from C to A
Only three districts did not need a waiver

B Ratings
33 districts increased from C to B
5 districts increased from D to B
Only 5 districts did not need a waiver.

C Ratings
25 districts increased from C to D
1 district increased from F to C
26 districts did not need a waiver.

D Ratings
No schools increased from F to D

Here are the local results.  The non-waiver grades are in (x).  

Canton: D (D)
Clinton: A (C)
Hinds: C (D)
Jackson: D
Madison County: A (B)
Pearl: B (C)
Rankin County: A (C)


Anonymous said...

Kingfish, could you remind us what the cost per pupil for each of these districts is compared to JPS?

Anonymous said...

so Madison did the best at teaching to the new standard it appears. interesting...

Anonymous said...

So Clinton, without a waiver, would have received the same grade as Coachoma County AHS and Coffeeville?

Anonymous said...

10:09- These are last years ratings but this has the spending per student from every school district: Spending

Anonymous said...

I'm moving to Petal.

Anonymous said...

How many millions get wasted on these rankings, especially after they change the criteria every two years? Just publish average ACT scores and graduation rates. People can figure it out on their own with those simple stats and we could cut out probably 25 highly paid administrators at the state level.

Do any local high schools publish average ACT scores?

Wow said...


You understand that the rankings are just the final step of everything that is done, right?

And that in 2016 we should absolutely be taking data-driven methodologies to determine what policies and approaches work for education and which don't?

You also understand that we have yearly State expenditures totaling millions a year for things such as:
-Athletic Commission
-Auctioneer Commission
-Board of Barber Examiners
-Board of Cosmetology

The government is so entrenched in our daily lives, it is literally illegal for me to cut your hair with approval of the government. Think about that for a second. And we spend millions a year regulating these things.

But if I'm following you, what you're basically saying is:

Why do we even have hospital quality rankings? Why can't hospitals just post how many people died every year. People can figure out if that hospital is good or not. We cut probably cut out the entire Quality Improvement administrator's salaries that way as well.

Your opinion is incredible.

This is a huge problem in conservatism today. We want leaner government--but we think just across the board cuts without any kind of thought make sense.

I challenge you to actually think deeper about these issues. If you were in a position to make these decisions, where would you make cuts? You can find all of this information online as well:

Anonymous said...

Our state can't even forecast revenues 6 months out. They aren't going to do data driven anything. Results are what matters. Use ACT as a standard benchmark and districts that don't score at an acceptable rate lose sports until they do. Watch the scores come up. Not sure why you ramble on about cosmetology and such, we all agree that government needs quit over regulating our daily lives. I thought that was supposed to happen when we sent republicans into office two decades ago but now that they are fully in charge we are more regulated than ever.

Anonymous said...

Actually, this is BAD NEWS for Rankin and Madison. More scum from Jacktown will be trying to rent houses in our besieged communities. They ruined their own schools, and now, even more of them will want to get their knuckle-dragging keeds into OURS. Yesterday, a few streets away from me, some filthy slum-lord was having ALL the trees ripped out of the yard, at a house he's bought.

When the trees disappear, you can be certain that filth will be moving in, soon.

Anonymous said...

To get a waiver all a school has to do is less than the year before. Easy to understand. A school is getting worse but to make things look better they will get a waiver.
Do you still wonder why Ms. has a lock on last place?
Do you still think there is anyone who cares?
Do you think parents in Ms. care that their children are at the bottom in the entire U.S.?

Wow said...

10:38, 11:35

We can at least agree that 20 years later, we are as regulated as ever.

Your argument that because we cannot forecast revenues correctly, this somehow indicates a state entity is not able to take a data driven approach to formulating solutions is a straw man argument at best, ignorance and a severe lack of understanding at worst.

It's convenient for us conservatives. We point to the lack of efficiency and waste for the government. And then we just want to take across the board cuts without any kind of thought to best approach (like the one you suggested).

That is never going to work. Personally, I think government has a role to play. My goal is small but maximally effective government.

And until we as conservatives drive the change to make these institutions more effective and efficient, nothing will ever change.

Anonymous said...

@11:35 - racist much?

Anonymous said...

Ouch. Would have been a bunch of Fs without waivers.

Anonymous said...

"@11:35 - racist much?" July 14, 2016 at 12:57 PM

REALITY is racist, Angel Face.

Anonymous said...

11:35 is spot on.

Use the ACT - its an easy metric for the public to understand, and it is impossible to "teach to." This ABCDF thing is crap because of the waivers. Rankin County gets to boast that they are an A district, when in actuality they are a C district and quickly falling.

If your average score is in the bottom 15% nationwide, you can't make the playoffs in any sport until it comes up.

If you do this three consecutive years, you can't even field a team.

You implement these changes and schools will up those scores with quickness.

A commenter did some great analysis a couple years ago - something like 70% of the schools playing for the state basketball championships were D or F.

Wow said...


Fair enough, in a sense. To clarify, I am not saying that the focus should not include the PSAT, SAT, SAT IIs, AP tests, or the ACT.

Requiring schools to post performance on these tests which are ACTUALLY used for collegiate admissions I do think would be a good idea. You could also track outcomes on test based on if the student is AP track, Accelerated track, Regular track. Where I would be particularly interested is if the data showed those students in "regular track" classes outperforming the national average. The fact is, not everyone can make a 36 on the ACT.

I luckily went to a high performing school where we didn't teach to the test (because we weren't trying to improve from a D to a C by showing marginal improvement in average test scores), but actually focused on teaching independent of any test, with the thought being if you had a true grasp of the material, test results would follow. We supplemented that with a semester PSAT / SAT / ACT prep course and optional summer course where would do additional concentrated practice on national standardized tests used for collegiate admissions.

This approach worked wonders, as the high school lead/leads the state in National Merit Scholars.

The point that I am trying to make is, if done properly, some of these tests like the PARCC would in fact provide detailed data points to educators about areas of need and improvement for students, validating/ helping to improve educational approaches, while at the same time providing the benefit to the students as concentrated practice that would show real improvement in the ACTs, SATs, etc.

I am dreaming though, it seems. I do think there are test makers out there striving for such a test. It's up to us to hold our decision makers accountable.

Anonymous said...

If you look at the methodology of the score, an emphasis was placed on "student growth"--meaning that districts that had really high scores in the old system couldn't show much growth, so their scores were dinged. (long beach, pearl, rankin county, clinton, madison)

Kudos for trying to award progress, but the statistics hurt those who were already doing well.

Just publish average ACT scores for the students who go to college. that's the real proof in the pudding...

Anonymous said...

11:35, and previous -

You are an idiot. An outright idiot. Thinking the solution is to use ACT and quit all other measurement.

First off, ACT only measures at the 11th and 12th grade. What do you plan to do about all the other schools (elementary and jr. high)? Just wait until those kids get to the graduating or not level and then see? Damn good planning.

And, not everybody in school is (or at least, should be) going thru for college prep - there are many students that aren't on the ACT track, and this conservative wish that more of the schools efforts were to focus on those kids and get them ready for a job in the workforce where they rightly belong - and would be more appropriately placed. Those kids aren't taking the ACT, so what are you going to do with them?

As a conservative, I'm all for reducing government, and agree with WOW except it didn't go far enough. But I realize that to itemize all the parts of government that are a waste of money would take too long, so I defer to the short list of examples.

But, as a real conservative, rather than an idiotic poster like you that likes to dribble on about education, and probably nothing else, I want to see measurement of my government spending. Of all the things that the MDE does, attempting to measure and quantify the results of our massive spending is probably the best thing, not one to be eliminated or 'replaced' as in your model on one and only one measurement - such as the ACT.

I realize though that you are probably very proud of the 15 you made on your ACT a few decades ago and want to hang that up on a wall and show your 'intelligence'. Be proud of it as it is probably the best you have ever or will ever accomplish.

Anonymous said...

"Wow" needs something to do during the day.

Anonymous said...

If you think WOW needs to be doing something, what do you think 10:38 (and 11:35 and........) ought to be doing - studying up for his ACT? That seems to be his entire focus in the world of education.

Anonymous said...


I'm sorry you seem to lack a basic skill set that keeps you from doing multiple things at once and quickly being able to express your thoughts. But yea, keep leaving the office "last" in the evenings--I'm sure your co-workers will really see that you're working so super duper hard that way.

Personally, I for the most part enjoy the discussion and bouncing of ideas from different view points on here, along with the variety of topics covered on any given week, especially when it is actually civil and not ad hominem like your comments.

By the sound of it, you probably feel sophisticated because you just learned how put your work email on your phone. Do try to keep up.


Very good point. I got carried away in trying to consider the alternative proposed by another poster of letting the ACT be a primary indicator. Obviously this wouldn't be a metric to gauge middle school and elementary schools but I think one aspect of the poster's original point--that it could be a metric to gauge high school effectiveness--should definitely be considered.

We did start taking the ACT in 7th grade at my school, with one of my classmates making a 26 (ended up making a 36 and 1600 by senior year)and many making in the 17-22 range.

Anonymous said...

Feel, Tater and Feel2 were not happy their schools were rated "C."

Here will be the spin: it means "Champion."

Anonymous said...

Just go back to the California achievement test and act, make all schools charters with local rule and open enrollment and get rid of big brother oversight. We have three layers of oversite on top of the principle. That is silly.

Anonymous said...

That adjustment looks fishy. Who is Feel 2?

Anonymous said...

Why even give teats? Any test you choose will end up with a good many children failing. If Ms. gives the same tests as other states the majority of children will fail. Face it. Ms. is in last place. This will not change as long as education money is wasted on admin.
Just give all of the kids an A in every class and send them on their way. That is what is happening anyway.
Every child gets a trophy. In this case the trophy is a diploma. Even with the way education is run in Ms. some kids fail at get a trophy.
It isn't easy to fail when waivers are given so freely. The people of Ms. have managed to find a way. #50 all the way.

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