Mississippi Commission on School Accreditation Recommends Changes to High School Cut Scores

In a meeting today of the Mississippi Commission on School Accreditation, the group decided to recommend to the Mississippi Board of Education that “cut scores” be revised again this year for Mississippi public schools that have a grade 12, such as attendance centers and high schools. The recommendation from the Mississippi Department of Education was that this revision was needed due to the lack of comparability from the 2017 determination of growth for such schools, which used growth from PARCC assessments to MAAP assessments, and the 2018 growth which was comparing MAAP assessments to MAAP assessments. Basically, the growth observed from the Algebra I and Engish II MAAP assessments from the 2017-2018 school year was not very high (MAAP to MAAP) in comparison to the year before (PARCC to MAAP). The idea is that this resulted in higher growth scores, and thus higher overall scores for last year’s schools having a 12th grade. So the cuts were then set too high to accurately be used this year, resulting in these high schools ending up with lower A-F accountability grades, which are not truly accurate for this year.

Most will remember that only last year the line between Mississippi accountability A-F grades for schools was revised, due to somewhat similar issues. All of these revisions in one way or another result from Mississippi choosing to move from one type of test to another in the past few years. Naturally, in the meeting, this lack of stability in the cut scores of the accountability model grading system was brought up as being less than desirable. However, even though this was not desirable, it was mentioned that such revisions may be needed again in future years.

Ultimately, the Commission made the recommendation for revising the cut scores which will raise the Mississippi accountability grade (A-F) for some schools with a 12th grade. If the recommendation is passed without revision by the Mississippi Board of Education, meeting on Thursday, August 23, the new cut scores will raise the accountability grades for 98 Mississippi schools one grade level from what they would have otherwise obtained without such a revision. Again, the only schools impacted by the proposed changes will be those which have a 12th grade, all other schools (traditional middle and elementary schools) will not be affected by this proposed change. District cut scores also are not be changed in this proposal.

It should be noted that all of the results at this point are preliminary and will not be official until the appeals process time period has expired for districts. No school or district, at the present time, has an official Mississippi accountability grade of A-F and will not for several more weeks. Although schools and districts have preliminary data, no assignment of such official grades has been done or can be done at this point for any Mississippi school or district.

The video of the entire August 22, 2018 meeting and the data presented can be viewed at the following link, courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Education:

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