At its meeting this morning, the Mississippi Board of Education lauded the efforts of students and teachers evidenced in the new school and district accountability ratings released today. These are the first post-pandemic letter grades assigned, and they are based largely on the statewide assessments administered to students in the spring of 2022.
The ratings reflect the improvement that students have made after losing ground the prior year due to interruptions in learning, the shortcomings of virtual instruction, and other challenges during the pandemic. See school and district ratings.
Approximately 87 percent of Mississippi school districts are rated C or better, an incredible achievement. Mississippi public school teachers have done heroic work to overcome the barriers to learning presented by the pandemic. Their tireless efforts have moved many children to proficiency rates that exceed pre-pandemic levels. It is important to note that academic growth factors significantly in school ratings. A monumental effort will be required in future years to repeat the extraordinary academic improvement of 2022 scores over the relatively low performance on the 2021 assessments that immediately followed pandemic disruptions. Current ratings also likely were affected by temporary adjustments to the accountability system.
Students in the lowest two performance levels continue to struggle, and it will be critically important for these children and their teachers to be provided the additional resources they need to be successful. The good news is our public schools have shown us they are up to the task. As federal pandemic funding recedes and schools lose that extra boost of support, our own state revenue is coming in well ahead of projections. Please encourage your legislators to invest in Mississippi children by closing the MAEP underfunding gap.
Interim State Superintendent Dr. Kim Benton celebrated the impressive achievement taking place in our public schools, saying, “After the early setbacks of the pandemic, Mississippi educators provided an enormous amount of support to help students recover from the interruptions to teaching and learning. We are confident this work will continue to close achievement gaps and ensure all students graduate from high school prepared for success in college and the workforce.”
We at The Parents’ Campaign are exceedingly proud of our teachers and students. As they work hard in their classrooms, we commit to do our part – to stand in the gap and to be their voice in the halls of the Capitol. Mississippi students deserve the investment we know is required for them to meet their promise. Please add your voice in support of our children and teachers, because together, we’ve got this!