More Mississippi schools could receive A-ratings following a change in the state's grading scale. As MPB's Alexis Ware reports, the change could also increase the number of F-rated districts.
The Mississippi Department of Education is approving a change in the school grading plan. The decision comes after the Department realized the previous scale, chosen just last year, caused some grades to be inflated. This year schools will be scored using both the 2016 to 2017 scale and the new baseline.
State Superintendent Carey Wright says allowing both scoring options is the most fair.
"Let the districts and schools know if they'd been run on 17 this is the grade you would've received and then giving them the ability to select the higher of the two grades, to be awarded the higher of the two grades so that there's no penalty for any district that thought they were going to get a C and ended up with a D or thought they were going to get a B and ended up with a C."
Those who oppose the change are worried districts who worked hard to increase their grade would be short handed. Rachel Canter is the executive director for Mississippi First. She says schools should now have the chance to aim for higher ratings.
"Next year will be the first year that we've had not only a consistent test but consistent cut scores, and so schools and districts should be able to know, cross your fingers, that exactly what their target is and their will be no changes."
Both scores will be published in October. The Department says the majority of schools and districts will not see a change in their letter grade.