By Joseph McCain The Winston County Journal
The results on the Mississippi Curriculum Test, Second Edition (MCT2) for the Louisville Municipal District were mixed at best and disappointing to most.
Overall LMSD as a district received Academic Watch rating or under the new state grading system a “D”. Schools are now graded from A-F. There are 3 ‘A’ districts, 47 ‘B’ districts, 42 ‘C’ districts, 37 ‘D’ districts and 20 ‘F’ districts in the state.
Each district score is based upon the state’s Quality of Distribution Index (QDI), with the minimum QDI zero and the maximum at 300. This is based upon how many students are in the minimal, basic, proficient and advanced groups on each test and in previous years included graduation rates but this year graduation rates were not included. Each district is also scored on Growth. Growth is the estimated performance of the students in each grade compared to their previous year’s testing.
The District received the QDI of 148 this year which matched its 2011 QDI but as Superintendent Bill Wade noted would have been better if the state had not chosen to eliminate graduation rates from the QDI. The graduation rate for the district rose to 77.9 percent from 65 percent in 2011.
“Leaving out our graduation rates hurt us by 6 or 7 QDI points,” said Superintendent Wade.
According to the Center for Public Policy figures, figuring in graduation rates would have very likely brought 10 districts down from a B to a C but would have helped districts like LMSD that had improved graduation rates.
“We and the teachers want to know how they will be grading the standards and not have them change the rules at the last minute.”
Graduation Rates LMDS like many other districts showed a rise in graduation rates. Districts across the state showed a two percent increase in graduation rates, rising to 73.7%. Dropout rates also dropped slightly to 16.7%. LMSD, as a district, moved up 12.9 points with each high school making positive gains in the 4-year graduation rates.
Noxapater Attendance Center moved from 63 percent to 79.5 percent in graduation rates. Nanih Waiya Attendance moved from 82.4 percent to 90.6 percent while Louisville High School moved from 60.6 percent to 75.1 percent
QDI While graduation rates made positive gains, the QDI for most schools remained stagnant with two exceptions. Nanih Waiya Attendance Center made an 11 point increase from 180 in 2011 to 191 in 2012. Nanih Waiya also met growth. With both standards scoring well, Nanih Waiya was rated High performing and received a “B” grade. Nanih Waiya was only 9 points short of receiving an “A” grade.
“Nanih Waiya is bumping on Star School or ‘A’ score,”said Dr. Wade.
Louisville High School was the opposite. LHS went from 147 QDI in 2011 to 125 QDI in 2012. It also failed to meet growth and scored low performing or an “F”.
“One point at LHS would have placed as a “D” or academic watch rather than an ‘F’,” said Dr.Wade.
Fair Elementary was another bright spot for the district. While it did not receive a letter grade since it had only one grade testing. Fair did receive the High Progress Award meeting federal reading, math and other academic indicator levels.
Eiland Middle School moved from 144 QDI in 2011 to 138 in 2012 and also failed to meet growth giving it a “D”grade. Louisville Elementary fell one point from a 135 in 2011 to a 134 in 2012. It also did not meet growth and received a “D” grade.
Noxapater Attendance Center moved up one point from 151 to 152 but did not meet growth which gave the school a “D” grade.
“Our teachers are teaching bell to bell. They are working hard to help students and improve test scores,” said Dr. Wade. “We are working on increasing rigor in the classroom. Teachers are becoming more aware and better trained in challenging students by using the Common Core State Standards. Student performance should increase as we implement this much more rigorous curriculum.”
Overall the district with the testing is moving more students into proficient scoring but did not meet growth on moving the proficient to advance scoring.
“We are seeing movement in some areas,” said Dr.Wade. “We have to move students forward at a better rate so we can be where we want to be.”
The Test The MCT2 is given to students in grades 3 through 8 in Language Arts and Mathematics. The MCT2 was first implemented in 2007-08 to assess the state’s more rigorous curriculum standards for language arts and mathematics. In the Subject Area Testing Program 2(SATP2) for High School Students, scores show increases in English and Biology over the previous year with Algebra showing a decrease from 2011 in most schools.
During the 2011-2012 school year, a new US History assessment was implemented. This new test represents the fourth SATP2 course conversion to more rigorous assessments based upon national standards. This new exam represents the most challenging of the four SATP2 exams based upon the difficulty of what students are expected to know and do. A new test for Biology was implemented in 2010-2011.
“With the move to a reading comprehension in history test, we were overall pleased where our students scored on the new history test,” said Dr. Wade.
High school students are assessed with the Subject Area Testing Program 2 (SATP2) on four content areas: Algebra I, Biology I, English II (both a Multiple Choice Assessment and Writing Assessment) and U.S. History. Students must earn a passing score on each test to be eligible for graduation. Students generally have up to three opportunities each year to earn a passing score on the SATP2 during high school.
Visit the Mississippi Department of Education web page to see all the districts and school results.
A look at each of the school’s test scores and plans to improve will be in upcoming editions. Noxapater will be featured in the Oct. 3 Edition of the Winston County Journal.