Accountability Ratings for Mississippi Schools and School Districts 2011

Posted: 9/14/11

Click here for links to accountability results for the 2010-2011 school year.

Mississippi schools and school districts have just received their third rating under the new accountability system implemented in 2008. The 2011 results show that, this year, more schools and school districts received the highest rating of Star School and Star District than did in either 2009 or 2010, and fewer received the lowest designation of Failing. This is what education leaders predicted all along: Mississippi students and teachers are rising to the challenge of higher standards, and student achievement is improving. See charts.

Four school districts – Clinton, Enterprise, Pass Christian, and Petal – are rated Star Districts. Congratulations to the students and teachers in these outstanding school districts! Twenty-eight school districts are rated High Performing.

Performance at the individual school level continues to advance: this year 65 schools are rated Star and 181 schools are rated High Performing. More than half of schools statewide are rated Successful or above.

A substantial number of schools, however, are labeled Academic Watch, Low-Performing, At Risk of Failing, or Failing, reminding us that we still have a tremendous task before us.

That task is further complicated by dramatic budget cuts that have forced massive teacher and staff layoffs, larger class sizes, and cuts in intervention programs that are designed to improve student achievement. Though our schools are showing incremental progress, there will be a greater likelihood of improvement on a larger scale when schools are able to return to an adequate level of funding.

Of course, it will take more than money to ensure that every Mississippi child has access to an excellent school. All our children deserve an excellent teacher in every class, decent school facilities, and a learning environment that encourages success.

The Parents’ Campaign will be hosting a series of community conversations about ways to set Mississippi on a path toward academic and economic success. If you would like to have such a conversation in your community, click here to email Cindy. We would welcome the opportunity to visit with your PTO/PTA, civic groups, business organizations, and others in your community who are interested in continuing to improve the quality of our schools and the achievement level of our students.

Other Measures of School Quality

Test scores are one way to measure a school's quality, but there are many other measures as
well. Folwell Dunbar, Louisiana's academic adviser for charter schools, writes about some of those "soft measures." Click here to read his article.