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SBE suspends three statewide assessment and accountability polices

Photo by News Mississippi

Following a recommendation by State Superintendent Dr. Carey Wright, the State Board of Education has voted to suspend three statewide policies regarding end-of-year assessments and accountability for the current academic year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  

According to the SBE, all required state and federal assessments will be administered as usual, but schools and districts will not be assigned A-F letter grades for their performance during the 2020-21 school year, 3rd graders do not have to pass a reading test to qualify for promotion, and high school students do not have to pass end-of-course assessments to meet graduation requirements.

“This year’s statewide assessments will provide valuable information about the impact of COVID-19 on learning and will help identify where accelerated learning opportunities for students are most needed,” Dr. Wright said. “The policy suspensions are intended to support schools through this intensely challenging year for educators and students.”

A full breakdown of the policy changes can be viewed below: 

  • 3rd Graders 

Current 3rd graders will take the 3rd Grade Reading/Language Arts assessment. Students are not required to meet a passing score on the assessment to be promoted to 4th grade for the 2021-22 school year. Students still must meet all other district requirements for promotion.

  • High School Students

All eligible students who take required end-of-course high school assessments including Algebra I, English II, Biology and U.S. History in the 2020-21 school year are not required to meet a passing score to meet high school graduation requirements. Students must meet all other state and district requirements to graduate. 

  • A-F Accountability Grades for Schools and Districts

Schools and districts will not be assigned A-F letter grades for their performance in the 2020-21 school year because the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) will not have sufficient data to calculate grades based on state and federal requirements. Schools and districts will retain their most recent letter grades earned in the 2018-19 school year.

The MDE will calculate and report the results of all statewide assessments administered during the 2020-21 school year and will submit information and a waiver request to the U.S. Department of Education to meet federal requirements for assessment and accountability.

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