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State releases school-by-school ratings

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Sept. 5, 2003
The superintendents of Meridian and Lauderdale County's public schools say they are pleased overall with school performance ratings released by the Mississippi Department of Education.
School-by-school ratings based on a statewide accountability system were posted Thursday on the Department of Education's Web site, The process measures improvement and achievement on standardized tests.
The ratings are assigned on a 1-5 scale with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest.
Meridian's interim superintendent, Sylvia Autry, said the results paint a clear picture of how each of the district's schools is performing.
She said specific plans of action for each school will be developed with principals.
Lauderdale County
David Little, Lauderdale County superintendent, said the ratings given to individual schools was about the same as those assigned in a pilot program last year.
The school districts were made aware of their performance levels in July. Since then, Little said, principals and teachers at each of the district's schools have been analyzing the information.
The scores
Meridian and Lauderdale County each had one school ranked at Level 5, or superior.
In Meridian the top-performing school is Poplar Springs Elementary. In Lauderdale County the top-performing school is West Lauderdale Attendance Center.
The city school district has two schools rated at Level 1, or low-performing, down from six last year when the state ranked school performance in its pilot accountability program.
The two Meridian schools ranked at Level 1 were Carver Middle School and Kate Griffin Junior High School. None of Lauderdale County's schools were ranked lower than a Level 3.
In a press release issued Thursday, State Superintendent of Education Dr. Henry Johnson said the accreditation status and school performance classifications will not be considered "final" until the State Board of Education approves them. That is scheduled to happen at a meeting on Thursday.
Adequate progress
Also shown on the Department of Education's Web site is whether each school met its Adequate Yearly Progress status, as outlined in the federal "No Child Left Behind" Act, in reading/language arts, math and other academic indicators.
The progress rating is referred to as "AYP."
In Meridian, Harris Elementary School and Meridian High School were the only schools that did not meet the progress standards in reading and language arts.
Parkview Elementary School, Carver Middle School and Kate Griffin Junior High School failed to meet the AYP status in math.
All of Lauderdale County's schools met their AYP goals in reading/language arts. Clarkdale Attendance Center, Northeast Elementary School and Southeast Middle School did not meet their AYP status in math.
The Mississippi Department of Education's performance levels are based on a five-point scale: Level 5, superior-performing; Level 4, exemplary; Level 3, successful; Level 2, under-performing; and Level 1, low-performing. Here are the levels assigned to Meridian and Lauderdale County public schools.
Meridian Public School District
Crestwood Elementary 3
Harris Elementary 2
Oakland Heights Elementary 3
Parkview Elementary 2
Poplar Springs Elementary 5
West End Elementary 3
West Hills Elementary 3
Witherspoon Elementary 3
Carver Middle School 1
Magnolia Middle School 4
Kate Griffin Junior High School 1
Northwest Junior High School 3
Meridian High School 2
Lauderdale County School District
Clarkdale Attendance Center 4
Northeast Lauderdale Elementary 3
Northeast Lauderdale High School 3
Northeast Middle School 4
Southeast Attendance Center 3
Southeast Middle School 4
West Lauderdale Attendance Center 5
West Lauderdale Elementary 4