The State Board of Education (SBE) held its monthly meeting earlier today. Among other agenda items, the board:
Approved 2018-2019 accountability results for schools and districts. The results reflect a 3-year trend of improvement. 645 (74%) schools and 101 (70%) districts rated a “C” or higher. Of 140 districts & 5 charter schools, 46 increased a letter grade from last year. Among the state’s 877 schools, 258 increased a letter grade from last year. Among the 31 A-rated districts, the following 9 districts earned an “A” for first time: Alcorn, Amory, Bay St. Louis Waveland, Gulfport, Hancock County, Harrison County, Lowndes County, New Albany and Stone County.
Approved beginning the public comment process on whether the state should eliminate the U.S. History end-of-course exam. The SBE’s final decision on the end-of-course exam will occur at the conclusion of the public comment period and after comments have been reviewed. Any decision to remove the U.S. History end-of-course exam would not be effective until the 2020-21 school year. U.S. History will remain a required course for graduation. The SBE’s decision follows both the Commission on School Accreditation and the Mississippi Student Testing Task Force decisions to recommend elimination of the U.S. History end-of-course exam on the heels of an opinion poll of secondary education teachers who voted to eliminate the exam. The U.S. History end-of-course exam is the only state test not required by federal or state law. Any member of the public may submit written comments to Dr. Jo Ann Malone, Office of Accreditation, 359 N. West Street, Post Office Box 771, Jackson, MS 39205-0771. They may also submit comments by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Students, teachers, and school administrators are encouraged to submit comments. All public comments must be received in the Office of Accreditation no later than 5 p.m. on October 22, 2019. Comments will be presented to the SBE on November 7, 2019.
Approved the methodology to reimburse districts and charter schools for costs related to the ACT WorkKeys exam to earn the National Career Readiness Certificate, dual credit courses taken at in-state institutions, and Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and Cambridge course and exam fees. The Mississippi Legislature appropriated $1 million for the program, which will allocate funds to districts based on last year’s enrollment for grades 9-12. MDE will send districts detailed guidelines about the reimbursement process.