Monday, September 23, 2019

JPS Improves, No Longer Failing

JPS finally got some good news as its rating improved from F to D.  MDE released the annual school ratings last week. JPS faced a state takeover two years ago after repeatedly earned an F rating.  The number of A-rated schools rose while the number of failing schools substantially fell.  However, most of the positive news was in elementary schools while most high schools still failed. 

Compare the snapshots of JPS in 2019 and 2017.

Snapshot (Ratings for 2018-2019)
High Schools: 2 D's, 5 F's.
Middle Schools: 2 A's, 1 C, 4 D's, 5 F's
Elementary Schools: 7 A's, 7 B's, 5 C's, 5 D's, 9 F's

Total number of schools: 51
Total number of A's: 9
Total number of B's: 7
Total number of C's: 6
Total number of D's: 11
Total number of F's: 19
% of JPS schools receiving F: 35%
% of JPS schools receiving D: 21%
% of JPS schools receiving D & F: 56%
% of JPS schools receiving A: 18%
% of JPS schools receiving B: 14%

2017 Snapshot (Ratings for 2016-2017): 

High Schools: 2 C's, 3 D's, 4 F's
Middle Schools: 2 A's, 11 F's (A's are magnet/select schools)
Elementary Schools: 1 A, 8 B's, 2 C's, 9 D's, 16 F's (A is magnet school)

 Total number of schools: 58
Total number of A's: 4 (All special schools)
Total number of B's: 8
Total number of C's: 4
Total number of D's: 12
Total number of F's: 31
% of JPS schools receiving F: 53%
% of JPS schools receiving D: 21%
% of JPS schools receiving D & F: 74%
% of JPS schools receiving A: 5%
% of JPS schools receiving B: 14%
% of JPS schools receiving C: 7%

The high schools stayed true to their usual dismal selves as two schools earned D's while the rest failed. The high school ratings are actually worse than they were two years ago as some actually achieved C ratings.  The middle schools slightly improved.  All of the regular middle schools received F's in 2017.  Kirksey improved to a C while four middle schools improved to a D.

JJ is not counting the "special schools" with the rest of the schools.  Bailey, Northwest Middle, Casey, and Obama schools are magnet or select schools.  The top students go to these schools.  These schools earned A's.

The true bright spot is in the elementary schools.  The elementary schools usually perform at a higher level than the rest of JPS.  However, sixteen of the elementary schools received F's while nine received D's when JPS faced the takeover. 

The elementary schools showed tremendous improvement.  Obama was the only one to receive an A two years ago.  Nine elementary schools earned A's last year. The number of F and D schools fell from 25 to 14.  This is the real story in the improvement of JPS.  What took place in the last three years that might suggest a reason for the improvement?

The legislature passed the third-grade "reading-gate" requirement several years ago.  JPS schools performed abysmally as several had failure rates of nearly 50%.  However, the scores steadily improved.  JJ reported in 2015:

23 out of 36 JPS elementary schools saw 25% or more of their students flunk the test. What is even more troubling is that the three schools who enjoyed failure rates of less than 5% (and two had failure rates of 0)  were either magnet or Montessori schools.  George Elementary, the crown jewel of the regular public schools as it has an "A" rating, suffered a failure rate of 21%. Several schools are rated "C" yet approximately a third of their students failed the exam.  28% of all third grade students in Jackson Public Schools failed the reading test.
The reading-gate tests show why there were 25 F and D elementary schools as too many of the kids imply could not read but were passed on to higher grades.  The new law forced JPS to get cracking.  JJ reported a year later:

 it appears some teachers, coaches, and students buckled down for the 2016 tests.  The worst failing rate was 38%.  Only 9 out of 36 schools suffered failing rates of more than 25%.  24 schools improved upon their 2015 scores.  6 schools saw their scores rise but they were less than 5% and several were less than 1%- a fractional difference.  The improved reading abilities of JPS students will hopefully transfer into higher ratings for Jackson schools.
 The little tykes read even better in 2017 as only one school (French) saw 30% fail.  There were only two other schools where over 20% of the students failed the test and those were at 22% and 23%.  Nine schools enjoyed seeing less than 5% of their students fail.  Clearly, more students are reading.

The elementary schools now have several cohorts of kids now reading at a higher level than those of several years ago.  The first two batches of improved scores are now in the middle schools.  Such progress probably explains the improved ratings for the middle schools.

High Schools
Murrah: D (529)
Callaway: D (492)
Provine: F (466)
Lanier: F (462)
Wingfield: F (419)
Jim Hill: F (378)
Forest Hill: F

Middle Schools
Bailey Middle APAC: A (544)
Northwest Middle: A (459)
Kirksey: C (331)
Siwell: D (317)
Blackburn: D (288)
Chastain: D (282)
Hardy: D (275)
Peeples: F (246)
Whitten: F (238)
Brinkley: F (226)
Powell: F (210)
Cardozo: F (206)

Elementary Schools
Power APAC: A (566)
Key: A (556)
Obama: A (549)
Baker: A (523)
Lester: A (512)
Casey: A (475)
Pecan Park: A (452)
Lake: B (427)
Barr: B (421)
Marshall: B (417)
Dawson: B (403)
Lee: B (399)
McLeod: B (398)
Spann: B (379)
Sykes: C (358)
Bates: C (357)
Clausell: C (335)
North Jackson: C (331)
Walton: C (328)
Smith: D (322)
Timberlawn: D (318)
Watkins: D (303)
McWillie: D (302)
Raines: D (276)
Galloway: F (266)
Boyd: F (264)
John Hopkins: F (259)
Johnson: F (255)
Van Winkle: F (243)
Green: F (240)
Wilkins: F (232)
Isable: F (231)
Oak Forest: F (197)


Anonymous said...

You want everyone to do better, but it's a more promising sign that the elementary schools show significant progress rather than high schools.
Elementary kids represent the future and have got many years to develop good work habits and become solid students, the high schoolers don't. Once kids get to middle school they are much harder to reach or reform. I would have been suspicious if failing high schools reform faster than elementary schools. JPS should build on this trend. Don't let the elementary kids backslide. In five years they should aim to be a B district.

Anonymous said...

JPS.......Abandon hope all ye who enter here.

Cynical Sam said...

Even a blind squirrel occasionally finds an acorn.

Paul Mitchell said...

Forest Hill isn't JPSD?

Anonymous said...

This is good news and JPS should be commended.

Anonymous said...

There is no way that JPS needs to operate 50+ schools in a district whose size continues to decline. Talk about cost savings, especially at the elementary school level, if they could reduce the number of schools by a third.

Anonymous said...

How is this possible. I thought the fledgling Charter Schools cherry picking from the elementary schools was only going to hasten the demise of JPS? How can they improve losing their best and their brightest while having their funding stolen from JPS and given to the greedy for profit Charters?

Could it be the SPLC was full of it, and that their lawsuit was drafted by the child of a public education lobbyist pulling six figures? Wonder if twitter star has retweeted this yet?

Anonymous said...

Forest hill was a part of the county schools a long time ago. It has been a jps school for a while now. You must not be a real Jacksonian or even hinds county resident to know that?

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

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Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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