JACKSON, Miss – The Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) voted today to reset the baseline scores for establishing accountability grades for schools that have a 12th grade. The change would address the lack of comparability to growth scores in prior years and would take effect for the 2017-18 accountability results.
The SBE’s decision followed a recommendation from the Commission on School Accreditation (CSA) and the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to reset the scores.
The scores for assigning school and district letter grades for 2017-18 were set last year based on 2016-17 student performance data. Because the growth for 2016-17 for schools with a 12th grade was not comparable to growth computed in 2017-18, the CSA and TAC recommended the baseline scores for earning each letter grade from A through F be reset.
The differences in growth were caused by the use of three different high school assessments over a three-year period. Last year’s growth calculations for schools with a 12th grade still included data from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), which was administered in 2014-15.
Dr. Chris Domaleski, associate director of the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment and chair of the MDE’s TAC, said many states have faced the challenge of calculating growth on different assessments.
“Mississippi has now had the same high school assessments for three consecutive years, so future growth calculations will no longer include the residual effects of changing assessments,” Domaleski said.
Mississippi first implemented the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) in 2015-16, which includes tests in English Language Arts and Mathematics for grades 3-8 and high school Algebra I and English II.
The TAC and CSA did not recommend making any changes to baseline scores for elementary and middle schools or for school districts. The elementary and middle school baseline scores were established last year based on only MAAP data.
Accountability letter grades for the 2017-18 school year are scheduled to be released in September.
“The Board made this decision after careful thought and deliberation and with consideration of what is in the best interest of students,” said Dr. Jason Dean, SBE chair. “We believe this adjustment will ensure the accountability model accurately reflects student progress and provides a meaningful comparison of how well students are learning from year to year.”