According to the accountability model, student performance is measured on more rigorous curriculum and assessments. Under the accountability model, schools and districts receive performance classification labels of Star, High Performing, Successful, Academic Watch, Low Performing, At-Risk of Failing, and Failing.
This year, Mississippi has four Star districts and 65 Star schools. The four districts earning the 2011 Star labels are Clinton School District, Enterprise School District, Pass Christian School District and Petal School District. Clinton School District achieved Star district status this year, joining repeat Star districts Enterprise, Pass Christian and Petal.
In 2011, schools earning the Star status increased to eight percent while 23 percent of schools are High Performing and 29 percent of schools are Successful. The three top performance categories saw an incremental increase this year. Both Star and High Performing schools are performing above the national average, and Successful schools are performing at about the national average.
State Superintendent of Education Dr. Tom Burnham said Mississippi schools continue to make sustained incremental progress. “This year’s accountability results indicate that Mississippi’s schools are moving in the right direction. It is important that we continue to see a reduction in the number of schools and districts in the failing categories,” he said.
Fewer Mississippi schools and districts fell into the At Risk of Failing and below classifications. The number of failing schools decreased from 29 to 11, a decrease of 62 percent. Classifications are based on achievement, academic growth or improvement, and the graduation rates for schools with graduates. Achievement is measured by the Quality of Distribution Index (QDI), with a minimum QDI of zero and a maximum at 300. The state’s average QDI increased to 158 from last year’s 154.
Smith County Schools had a QDI of 160, with the exception of Raleigh Elementary School which had a QDI of 161.
“Mississippi’s educational system has intensified its focus on improving our under performing schools. This year’s results indicate that we are making significant improvements in this area,” said Mississippi Board of Education Chairman Charles McClelland. “I truly believe that once we get our under performing schools turned around, Mississippi’s education system will begin moving to the top of the nation’s rankings. We want to provide each child in Mississippi a high quality education so they can compete in today’s global society.”
Source: Mississippi State Department of Education
Editor’s Note-Superintendent of Smith County Schools Jimmy Dell Hancock said he would outline the criteria used to determine the school’s ranking at a later date.