Test Improvement

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Two ‘at risk’ schools show improvement in SP District

By Rupert Howell

South Panola District schools improved in their accountability ratings during the past school year compared to the previous year’s ratings with the district retaining its “Academic Watch” rating.

Rankings were released to the public last week and are based on state-wide testing, growth and high school completion rates. Rankings are given to individual schools with the district receiving an overall rating.

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South Panola High School  retained its “High Performing” rating while Pope School retained a “successful” rating.

Both Batesville Middle School and Batesville Junior High School moved upward from an “At Risk of Failing” label to “Academic Watch.”

The rankings are earned through the Quality of Distribution Index (QDI) which is  a representation of student scores on various state-wide tests and their growth component, a measurement of individual student learning.

High schools are ranked on subject area testing and are also measured on their High School Completion Index (HSCI) in their rankings.

There are seven accountability labels, Failing, At-Risk-of-Failing, Low Performing, Academic Watch, Successful, High Performing and Star District.

While some of the district schools failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress in some areas, other areas showed improvement.

Neither Batesville Middle School nor Batesville Junior High met satisfactory Achievement and Growth models.

South Panola High School did not meet improvement status in reading/language and mathematics in the No Child Left Behind portion of the evaluation.

A breakdown of testing data revealed that two subgroups, black and economically disadvantaged, did not make yearly progress in mathematics and that the subgroup of economically disadvantaged did not meet progress in reading/language.

However, the high school’s QDI increased from 141 to 144 and the graduation rate is up 2 percent over last year. The high school completion rate was also up from 243 to 246.

District administrators use data from test results to follow students’ progress as well as identify areas that need additional attention.