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Oxford School District Ranks as Top 10 Performing School Districts in Mississippi

By Alyssa Schnugg
Staff writer

The Oxford School District ranked as a Top 10 performing school districts when it comes to English and mathematics proficiency, according to the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program scores released recently by the Mississippi Department of Education.

MAAP measures students’ knowledge, skills, and academic growth from elementary through high school. Student progress is measured in grades three through eight using annual assessments in English Language Arts and mathematics and in high school using Algebra I and English II end-of-course assessments.

Students score in five categories from a low of Level 1 up to a high of Level 5.

Students scoring at Level 4 or 5, the proficient or advanced categories, are meeting or exceeding grade-level expectations. The scores suggest that students have a thorough understanding of grade-level content and are on the right track to being ready for college-level coursework. Students scoring at Level 3 demonstrate a general mastery of the knowledge and skills required for success in the grade or course, and they are approaching expectations for that grade or course. Students scoring a Level 1 or 2 need more assistance in learning the content and are in need of greater support.

OSD’s average in ELA is 58.3 percent overall proficiency and 67.1 overall proficiency in mathematics.

Mississippi’s average in ELA is 39.8 percent overall proficiency and 43.9 percent overall proficiency in mathematics.

MDE also released the 2018 Assessment Achievement Gap Analysis, which showed Oxford’s achievement gap has dropped since 2017.

The gap between white and black students in ELA proficiency in 2017 was -48.percent. In 2018, it was -45.4 percent. For mathematics, the gap between white and black students in 2017 was -42.3 percent and in 2018 it was -39.7 percent.

Superintendent Brian Harvey said the improvement shows OSD’s commitment to close the achievement gap, however, he said more work needs to be done.

“We are not satisfied with the remaining achievement gap, but the decline in our gap data demonstrates a strong commitment from our teachers and administrators to narrowing this gap more and more each year,” he said in a written statement.

Mississippi’s plan for improving student achievement calls for 70 percent of all students to be proficient in ELA and mathematics by 2025, but OSD calls for higher standards, sooner. At the back-to-school, staff meeting earlier this month, Harvey, announced OSD’s “95 in Five” plan to be achieved by 2023. 

The goals include a 95-percent graduation rate, a 95 percent proficiency on state assessments, 95th percentile growth on student benchmark assessments, 95 percent of seniors enrolled in Advanced Placement, dual-enrollment or Career and Technical Education classes, and 95 percent of students who enroll in college are eligible to take credit-bearing courses as freshmen.

The OSD contributed to this story.

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