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Lincoln County earns ‘B’, Brookhaven schools earn ‘C’ on state report card

Looking at the unofficial accountability scores released Tuesday, superintendents of both public school districts in Lincoln County said they are pleased with the work by students and staff.

Overall, the Lincoln County School District earned a B grade, while Brookhaven School District earned a C.

“There’s a high degree of satisfaction. It’s a much truer reflection of who we are and what our schools are about,” said Lincoln County Superintendent Mickey Myers. “That letter grade means a lot to me and most of the people in this district. But we’ve still got a ways to go. “

There is always room for growth and proficiency, and he’d like to see all four attendance centers increase a grade when the results come out again a year from now.

The Mississippi Statewide Accountability System is a single “A” through “F” school and district accountability system. Grades are based on student achievement, student growth, student participation in standardized tests given in the spring and other academic measures.

Nearly three quarters of schools and 70 percent of districts in the state will be rated C or higher when the Mississippi State Board of Education approves accountability grades Thursday for the 2018-19 school year. The grades statewide show a three-year trend of continuous school and district improvement.

The state set a goal in 2016 that all schools and districts be rated C or higher.

West Lincoln Attendance Center saw a B, while Loyd Star, Bogue Chitto and Enterprise all received C grades. The goal ultimately is to have A and B schools, Myers said.

“West Lincoln was in the neighborhood of being an A school,” he said, adding that the elusive A is a huge target for Principal John Shows.

“Mr. Shows won’t rest until it’s an A,” he said.

Brookhaven sees

highs and lows

Brookhaven Superintendent Ray Carlock said he is “very pleased” with the C grade the district received.

“Once again the district grew through the hard work of teachers and students and raised our overall district score several points,” he said. “Alexander Junior High raised its rating from a D to a B and is to be congratulated for their performance.”

Brookhaven High School, Brookhaven Elementary School and Mamie Martin Elementary all maintained C accountability, however, Lipsey Middle School fell to a D.

“Teachers and staff are working hard to correct problems and move in the right direction,” he said. “Overall, the district has made progress and is keeping the Ole Brook tradition of excellence in education alive and well.”

Accountability grades are based, in part, on how well students perform and progress from year to year on the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program tests for English language arts and mathematics. These tests are aligned to the Mississippi College and Career Ready Standards and are administered annually to students in grades 3-8 and in high school. Overall, students showed statistically significant gains in both ELA and mathematics from 2017-18 to 2018-19.

“Student achievement on MAAP reached an all-time high in 2018-19 because teachers are challenging students to achieve at a higher level,” said State Superintendent Carey Wright said. “I am a firm believer that students can and will achieve more when they are challenged and supported by great teachers who help them meet higher expectations.”

The accountability system places an emphasis on the progress students make in ELA and mathematics from year to year, particularly the lowest performing 25 percent of students, and factors in how well students perform on science tests in grades 5 and 8, and the progress that English Learners make toward achieving proficiency in the English language. Accountability grades for high schools and districts include the four-year graduation rate, student performance on biology, U.S. history and ACT tests, and student participation and performance in advanced coursework such as Advanced Placement and dual credit/dual enrollment courses.

The unofficial 2018-19 accountability results for schools and districts are available at www.mdek12.org/OPR/Reporting/Accountability.