/New grades posted; majority of schools get a C or higher

New grades posted; majority of schools get a C or higher

After a series of changes to the state’s tests and how the state assigns grades, schools and districts were given their ratings by the state on Thursday. A majority of school districts received a grade of C or higher. However, 19 districts received an F. This year marks the first year that schools and districts are unable to apply for a waiver from the federal government to use a higher grade from previous years. This was because they were changing to Common Core-related standards. First, the average grade is a C. I believe that’s a good start point considering the state’s highest learning standards and rigorous assessments to measure those standards. State Superintendent of Education Carey Wright stated Wednesday. Wright stated that it takes more than one year for a charter school to improve its score. She also pointed out that charter schools were attended by students who were at least three to four grades behind the 5th and 6th graders. For the past three years, Mississippi students took a different test every year. This school year marks the first time that districts can compare scores. The unofficial grade of Clinton School District in 2014-2015 dropped from an A (without the waiver), but the district was able to regain its A status last school year. Assistant Superintendent Tim Martin stated that teachers should be familiar with the standards as well as the test. The Mississippi Assessment Program (MAP), although it was administered for the first time in the school year, was much more similar to the test given the year before. Martin explained that teachers were able to use the results from the previous year to assess students’ strengths and weaknesses, and then tailor their teaching and instruction to maximize these strengths and minimize weaknesses. For Jackson Public Schools, the largest urban area in the state, the scores were not good. Beneta Burt, President of the School Board, stated that the district was disappointed with the results. She has scheduled a meeting for Oct. 28 to evaluate the superintendent and the leadership team in order to determine what happened and how the administration plans on improving student performance. Superintendent Cedrick Gray was not present at the press conference. Burt stated that Gray was finishing the district’s plan to correct deficiencies that led to it being downgraded from “probation” status by the state. Burt stated that “To go from a District with only 3.5% of its schools labeled F, to 36.2 percent is indeed significant and an unacceptable number.” JPS has less than 20% of its students proficient in reading and only 15.4% proficient in math. Education officials admit that JPS students made progress over last year but still have a lot of work to do. J.P. Beaudoin is the chief of research for the state education department. “The good news they’re making progress towards the high water mark, however, there is still a significant amount to be done for individual students to be able say that they have a complete understanding of the subject.” Wright stated that the department is currently examining each district that received an F in order to determine how support can be provided, but it is still unsure about the details. Wright stated that the support provided by the state department must conform to what ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act), Wright referred to the federal law that replaces the No Child Left Behind Act. “I encourage schools and districts disaggregate their data to develop targeted plans” to address weak areas until those plans are developed._x000D