Saturday, March 25, 2023

Oxford School District Maintains “A” Rating in State’s 2014 Accountability Results

Oxford School District Officials Announce Class Schedule Information
Today the Mississippi Department of Education officially released its 2014 Accountability Results—letter grades for schools and districts, and the Oxford School District maintaining its “A” rating because of the state’s No Child Left Behind waiver.
The state’s 2014 Accountability Results show the Oxford School District scored 635 points out of 900 total points on the 2013-2014 student assessments, making it an “A” rated school district with the waiver in place. The Oxford School District, however, would have received a “B” rating with the state’s new accountability model in place.
Mississippi applied for and was granted a waiver for exemption from the No Child Left Behind requirement that all students be proficient in math and reading by 2014. No Child Left Behind places penalties on school districts that have students who are not 100 percent proficient in subject areas of state assessments.
“This school year we are still an ‘A’ school district,” said Oxford School District Superintendent Brian Harvey. “The point scores from the new accountability model through Senate Bill 2396 tie into the Federal Accountability Model. The state and federal accountability models this year punish school districts with high-performing students compared to last year’s accountability models; they also push more school districts to the middle.”
Oxford students’ science scores, specifically in eighth grade and on the biology test, rank among the highest in the state. The graduation rate, which is 87.9 percent, is also one of the highest in Mississippi.
Harvey added, “Measuring student achievement and growth is problematic at best when different accountability models are being used to report our students’ testing results.”
Each year every school in the Oxford School District strives for the “A” designation. This year with the waiver in place, all Oxford schools maintained the “A” designation they received last year. A breakdown of each school’s accountability rating with and without the waiver are:
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Add One — Oxford School District Accountability Results
Last year the state’s accountability model measured the proficiency of all students and awarded points to school districts for their students who tested at an advanced level. This year, both the state and federal accountability models measure the proficiency and growth of all students with no points awarded for advanced students maintaining on their level.
“It was actually our second best year with testing results,” said Harvey. “The school district wasn’t rewarded for our students maintaining the advanced level as we were in the past. We were also hurt by the fact that our lowest achieving students are accounted for twice in the new accountability model and the highest achieving don’t carry the weight that they should point-wise or even factor into the equation.”
The accountability model measures student performance on rigorous curricula and assessments. MDE issues a letter grade, or rather the performance classification letter grades of “A,” “B,” “C,” “D” and “F.” Last year marked the last time that QDI scores were used in the state’s accountability model.
“We knew that our schools would be teaching our students something that they were not going to be tested on at the end of the year. Honestly, last school year we were focused on preparing our students for Common Core instruction,” said Harvey. “Our students were not even tested on Common Core last school year through the state testing. We made the decision to do this because we knew with the waiver in place, we would still be listed as an ‘A’ school district,” said Harvey.
He added, “Are we happy with our results even without the waiver in place? No. We know that there is more work to do. We have to refocus our efforts while using this student assessment information to lead our decisions on instruction in the classroom and at home.”
School officials encourage parents and families to take an active role in helping their child make academic strides by being involved in their child’s school. Parent involvement activities include parents interacting with their child in regard to homework and school assignments, as well as attending parent-teacher events at their child’s school.
“Overall, parents need to become involved in their child’s education process and growth,” said Harvey, “because while we help prepare them to become college and career-ready in school, parents can help do the same in the home. We work diligently to keep students in school and help them graduate. Our parents, community and public education supporters have a part in the overall student achievement picture, too.”
What’s next for Oxford School District students? This school year Oxford School district students have already taken the school district’s first benchmark assessment, which measures student progress for the 2013-2014 school year. School district officials will communicate these results to parents and the general community at the October 2014 monthly Board meeting. Oxford School District Superintendent Brian Harvey says the Oxford School District’s focus will be on reviewing these benchmark assessments and deciding on how they can best drive classroom instruction to improve student ACT scores.
To view the complete 2014 Accountability results for schools and districts visit the Mississippi Department of Education website at For more information on the Oxford School District, visit