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MDE: Points Will Determine School, District Letter Grades

September 2, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) is providing additional information to clarify how school and district accountability grades will be determined for 2015-16 and future years.

The same accountability system that was first used in 2013-14 to determine grades on an A through F scale will be used to determine grades for 2015-16 and subsequent years. Schools and districts must earn a certain number of points to achieve each grade. Points are based on several factors, including test scores, graduation rates and student academic growth.

Because Mississippi students took a new statewide assessment in 2015-16 and two new high school components to the accountability system go into effect for the 2015-16 school year, the MDE had to reset the point scale for assigning grades.

Accountability grades will be determined by the corresponding numeric score for schools and districts ranking at or above the 90th (A), 63rd (B), 38th (C), and 14th (D) percentiles in 2015-16. The exact scores needed to earn a particular grade will be finalized in the first week of October after all school districts have had the opportunity to review their data for accuracy. These scores will be used to determine grades for 2015-16 and future years.

Final statewide accountability results for 2015-16 will be released to districts on October 18. The results will be released to the public on October 20 after the Mississippi State Board of Education meets to approve the grades.

“Once final data are approved by districts and verified by MDE, the numeric values for each grade will be set and they will not change. This way district leaders will always know the target needed to reach a particular grade. The target will not move,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education.  “As always, every decision we make is based on what is in the best interest of students, teachers and administrators. We know all schools and districts are committed to helping students achieve the highest possible goals. There is no limit to the number of schools and districts that can earn an ‘A’ or any other grade.”

Media Contact: 
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR
Director of Communications

Jean Cook, APR
Communications Specialist