A game-changer in the 2013 rankings is the department’s use of graduation rates in determining a district’s rating. This year, 18 districts, or 12 percent of districts, earned A status; just three merited that grade in 2012.
That’s due to a new formula that can give districts with high graduation rates a bump. It allows districts with some individual schools rated C or below to still be rated an A district overall. For example, the Madison County district has three schools rated D, but the district overall jumped from a B in 2012 to an A because of its strong graduation rate.
In the Jackson metro area, Clinton repeated its 2012 rating with an A and was the only tri-county district to receive individual A ratings for all its schools. The Madison County and Rankin County districts bumped from B to A, and Canton schools rose from F to D. The Jackson district remained a D, Pearl remained a B, and Hinds County remained a C.