The Accountability Task Force met via teleconference Wednesday, April 22, 2020. Discussions included the following:
Reporting for 2020: It was the consensus of task force members that any metrics for the 2019-2020 school year should only be distributed to districts for internal use only. Metrics should not be disseminated publicly due to COVID-19 and the suspension of assessments and accountability ratings.
Preparing for 2021: While the USDE has not provided any guidance as to additional waivers in future years, it was the consensus of task force members to pursue policy relief for the 2020-2021 school year. The task force acknowledged the growing sentiment among Mississippi educators that the current situation provides a prime opportunity to change the accountability model or “to blow it up and start over.” Several task force members expressed support for testing next year, but only if districts/schools are held harmless and results are used as a new baseline.
Changes to College and Career Readiness: The task force considered two options for more fully representing career readiness in the accountability model. Option 1 includes WorkKeys performance as a new component of college and career readiness by reducing points to 25 for ACT and awarding 25 points for WorkKeys. Several task force members noted that students should not have to take both tests. Option 2 includes diploma endorsements as a new component of college and career readiness. While external facilitators and MDE staff voiced support for Option 2, multiple task force members voiced support for Option 2 citing Lt. Governor Hosemann’s support for and industry’s utilization of WorkKeys.