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School Districts React to Newly Released Academic Ratings

School Districts React to Newly Released Academic Ratings
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Petal Home Coming Group Photo
Petal School District

Several Mississippi schools are reacting to the newly released state department of education academic ratings. MPB's Desare Frazier talked two school districts who are working to see improvement in student performance.

Petal School District just outside of Hattiesburg, is the number one rated A district in the state. Forty-two hundred students attend its five schools. Superintendent Matt Dillon says one of the strategy's they're using that works, is having teachers meet on a regular basis during the week to develop their skills and devise learning plans to help students.

"They have to model lessons in front of each other to get input from their colleagues. There's constant conversation about what examples are you using as a teacher and the success that you're seeing on your assessment that I can apply in my classroom. So, it's that growth mindset," said Dillon.

Image - JPS 4 reading fair.jpg

In the Capital City, Jackson Public School Superintendent Errick Greene says they're working on building a culture of on-going teacher coaching. The second largest district in Mississippi has more than 23,000 students and was nearly taken over two years ago by the state. Greene who came on board last year is seeing improvement from an F rating to a D.

"We've already started to see some turning of our progress and so that says a lot to me and hopefully it's a wonderful signal to our team and to our young people and families and the broader community that JPS means business," said Greene.

A commission called Better Together worked to devise recommendations to improve JPS. Greene says those goals are part of their strategic plan. He says they'll be monitoring data to see what works and what doesn't.