“Our goal for resuming accountability is to get the most complete and accurate measure of student learning during the pandemic,” said Dr. Carey Wright.

On Thursday, the Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) voted to temporarily adjust the statewide accountability system so that A-F grades for districts and schools and federally required school improvement designations can be determined for the 2021-22 school year.

“Our goal for resuming accountability is to get the most complete and accurate measure of student learning during the pandemic,” said Dr. Carey Wright, State Superintendent of Education.

Mississippi’s A-F accountability system and school improvement identification system takes into account several factors, including: how well students perform on state tests, students’ growth on tests from year to year, and whether students are graduating within four years.

Due to federal law, all states are required to assess students annually in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics in grades 3-8 and once in high school.

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) said that adjustments are needed for the 2021-22 school year due to the cancellation of assessments in spring 2020 resulted in some students lacking scores to calculate growth.

The accountability system will be adjusted for 2021-22 by measuring growth on high school-level assessments from the most recent year students were previously tested. 2021-22 high school end-of-course assessment results will be included, regardless of the student’s grade level. Any banked scores from previous years that would have been included in the current year’s accountability calculation will be excluded.

“The temporary adjustments will enable educators, families, communities and policymakers to understand and evaluate how schools and districts have performed since the onset of COVID-19,” Dr. Wright continued.

The SBE has invited public comment on Thursday’s vote to establish the temporary rule to implement the accountability adjustment. The deadline to submit comments is May 17, 2022.