JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) released accountability grades for the 2022-23 school year. According to the report, 87% of schools and 91% of districts earned a grade of C or higher.

According to MDE officials, the grades are an improvement over the 2021-22 school year, when 81% of schools and 87% of districts were rated C or higher. In 2016, when the Mississippi State Board of Education set a goal that all schools and districts be rated C or higher, the percentage of schools and districts meeting this goal were both 62%.

Statewide student assessment data make up a large part of accountability grades. In 2022-23, officials said the overall percentage of students scoring proficient and advanced reached an all-time high in mathematics, English Language Arts (ELA), science and U.S. History.

“This year’s school and district grades provide further evidence that Mississippi teachers, school leaders and staff have done an outstanding job helping students accelerate learning after the disruptions of the pandemic,” said Dr. Raymond Morgigno, interim state superintendent of education. “I am confident our schools will build upon these achievements so that all students are proficient and prepared for success after high school.”

“I want to thank all the hardworking teachers, parents, and students who helped us get here. These results are a testament to years of effort to successfully strengthen Mississippi’s education system. It is because of you that the eyes of the nation have turned to our state as a model for how to effectively educate students,” said Gov. Tate Reeves (R-Miss.).

According to the MDE, Mississippi’s accountability grades help teachers, school leaders, parents and communities know how well their local schools and districts are serving their students. The components of the state’s accountability system are based on state and federal law and State Board policy, which include:

  • Student proficiency and growth rates in ELA and Mathematics in grades 3-8
  • Growth of the lowest performing 25% of students in ELA and Mathematics
  • Science proficiency in grades 5 and 8
  • English Learner progress toward becoming proficient in the English language
  • Performance on the ACT and high school Algebra I, English II, Biology and U.S. History assessments
  • Student participation and performance in advanced coursework such as Advanced Placement and dual credit/dual enrollment courses
  • Four-year graduation rate

MDE officials said school and district improvements in 2022-23 extend to school districts under state leadership because of poor academic performance or a state of emergency. The majority of these districts have made steady improvements since their state takeover:

  • Tunica County School District: Maintained a B for the second consecutive year. The district achieved a C in 2018, improving upon a four-year track record of D and F grades. The district will return to local control in January 2024.
  • Noxubee County School District: Achieved a C, improving upon its D rating in 2022 and emerging from its pattern of earning an F every year since 2016.
  • Holmes County School District: Maintained a C for the second consecutive year, improving from an F in 2019.
  • Achievement School District (ASD): The Humphreys County portion of the ASD improved its grade from an F to a D; the Yazoo City portion remained an F.