City school district earns a ‘D’ ranking for third year in a row

Published 10:57 pm Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Brookhaven School District earned a D, or “Academic Watch,” ranking for the third year in a row, according to the Mississippi Department of Education’s Mississippi Public School Accountability ranking system.

According to the MDE accountability standards, the current ranking system which last year began using letter grades instead of descriptions, focuses on student achievement and improvement at each school.

A letter grade of A previously was a Star school in the old system. A ranking of A indicates the school’s achievement levels are high and moving steadily up. A letter grade of B previously was called High Performing and means the school is meeting growth and achievement expectations and moving upward. A grade of C means the school is Successful and achieving good scores but there is room for growth. A grade of D means the school is on Academic Watch and the students are at risk of failing. A grade of F, previously called Low Performing, means the school is failing and needs intervention.

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Brookhaven’s D grade means the district did not meet expected growth in student test scores and did not have an increase in graduation rates.

The bright spot in the district is the growth shown at Brookhaven High School. Last year the school did not meet the expected growth and got a letter grade of D, but this year they have earned a C showing they are succeeding in making improvements.

Alexander Junior High and Lipsey Elementary remained at the previous year’s grade levels with Alexander at C (Successful) and Lipsey again at a D (Academic Watch). Alexander met expected growth levels, however, while Brookhaven Elementary and Lipsey School did not.

A major component in the ranking process is the Quality Distribution Index (QDI), which the MDE describes as measuring achievement on how well students perform on state tests such as the Mississippi Curriculum Test Second Edition (MCT2) for grades 3-8, the Subject Area Testing, Second edition (SAPT2) for high school students. The QDI ranges from zero to 300.

The Brookhaven district’s (QDI) was 155 in 2011 and 156 in 2012. The QDI this year is 157. The district’s five-year graduation rate dipped from 77.4 percent last year to 68.4 percent this year.

Brookhaven High School School’s QDI in 2012 was 150 and this year is 145. Alexander Junior High’s QDI in 2012 was 150 and this year is 162. Lipsey Middle School had a QDI of 153 in 2012 and 161 in 2013. Brookhaven Elementary had a QDI of 173 in 2012 and 156 in 2013.

Two other components of a school’s grade are results from the Achievement Model, which the MDE states is a measure of improvement in test scores, and for schools through 12th-grade, the graduation rate.

In the city school district, there is only one school that has a 12th grade – Brookhaven High School. The school’s five-year graduation rate in 2012 was 77.4 percent and this year, it is a little lower at 68.4 percent.

Interim Superintendent Stephanie Henderson was unavailable to comment on the district’s grade this year. She has been in the interim position following former Superintendent Dr. Lisa Karmacharya’s departure in June.

Brookhaven School District Report Card