The State Board of Education has voted in favor of a dramatic change to the school rating system, one that sets in stone the number of schools and school districts that can be rated in each of the A through F categories in a given year. Exactly 10% of schools will be allowed an A rating, regardless of how well (or how poorly) schools perform as a whole. And, each year, 14% will be rated F, no matter how much schools improve.
This is very different from the current system, which sets a minimum score that a school or school district must achieve to earn a given rating. Note that the board has decided that we should always have 40 percent more Fs than As.
The good news is that the law requires the board to accept feedback from the public before such a policy is implemented. This is your chance to weigh in. Click here to see the proposed changes, then send your comments in writing –
By mail: Mr. Walt Drane, Executive Director, Division of Research and Development
Mississippi Department of Education
P.O. Box 771
Jackson, MS 39205-0771
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By fax: 601-359-2471
According to the proposed policy, even if all districts attained the highest possible test scores, academic growth, and graduation rates, 14% of them would still be assigned an F. Likewise, if all districts sank to the lowest possible performance, 10% of them would still get an A. This “Hunger Games” approach to rating schools discourages collaboration among school districts; for a district to move up a level, another district will have to fall. That is bad for our children and our state.
Please weigh in; your feedback is important. The deadline to submit comments is 5pm on September 13. Our kids are counting on us!
Sources: Mississippi Department of Education, The Parents’ Campaign Research and Education Fund