State ranks WCSD ‘high performing’

By Russell Hood The Webster Progress-Times

Three of Webster County’s four schools earned “High Performing” status in the Mississippi Department of Education’s annual accountability performance rating.

Districts and schools got letter grades for the first time Sept. 14 — receiving a letter rating “A” through “F” rather than a performance label Star through Failing.

The MDE used 2011 MCT2 and Subject Area Test scores to classify schools and districts from “A” to “F” as follows: “A” – Star, “B”- High Performing, “C” – Successful, “D” – Academic Watch, “F” – Low Performing and Failing. Only three districts received an “A” rating: Clinton, Enterprise and Pass Christian.

East Webster Elementary School, East Webster High School and Eupora High School were each High Performing, Level B under the state’s new system.

The lowest score came from Eupora Elementary School, which rated Level D and qualified as “Academic Watch.” The Webster County School District as a whole earned a High Performing rating and a grade of “B.” Last year, it was a Successful district. Its quality distribution index was 176, the same as last year.

A district’s QDI is a composite score that takes into account student test scores from the MCT2 and Subject Area Tests, which the MDE released Aug. 29. To be ranked an “A” district, a school district must have a QDI of at least 200 up to a top score of 300.

Two Webster County schools showed improvements in QDI while two had decreases. East Webster Elementary received a QDI score of 181, compared to 168 last year. Eupora High School’s QDI increased from 184 to 185 this year.

East Webster High School received a QDI score of 196, down from 204 last year.

Eupora Elementary School’s QDI was 146, compared to 156 in 2011.

The county district and all schools except Eupora Elementary met growth, which is a measurement tool to ensure that students receive at a minimum one year worth of learning in one year. The two statuses for growth are “Met” and “Not Met” — which was Eupora Elementary’s status.

The state Board of Education suspended graduation rate requirements for a year as a factor in districts’ ratings. The goal behind the temporary suspension was to figure out a more equitable way to factor in graduation rates to the ratings. Before, graduation rates were only factored into the ratings of the top districts. The county district’s five-year graduation rate is 76.9 percent.

The Webster County School District released this statement regarding the state accountability ratings and test scores:

WCSD Continues To Excel The new Federal Differentiated Accountability System labels all of our schools as “On Target Schools.”

The WCSD ranked 29 out of 152 school districts in the state, based on the Quality Distribution Index, which is up from the top 25 percent in the state to the Top 20 percent. The QDI is a rating used by the state Department of Education to assign accountability labels.

The schools in Webster County continue to improve in their test scores. These are a few of the outstanding test score rankings:

• East Webster Elementary is ranked 27th in third-grade math out of 426 schools statewide. • Eupora Elementary ranked seventh in fifth-grade science out of 415 schools. • East Webster High School ranked fourth in eighth-grade science and 13th in eighth-grade math out of 283 schools. • Eupora High School ranked 14th in Biology I and 16th in English II out of 250 schools. “The school district continues to re-evaluate and assess our progress toward improving test scores and making sure that all our students achieve and are successful in entering the world of work and or post- secondary education,” county Superintendent of Education Jack Treloar said.

“Webster County Schools’ administrators, faculty and staff want to thank all of the parents and community for the support that has been given which allows us to provide safe, orderly and effective schools,” he added.