By JOEL McNEECE
Vardaman Elementary and Bruce High School earned high marks in the newest accountability ratings released by the Mississippi Department of Education, but Calhoun County School District lagged behind most districts in Northeast Mississippi.
Vardaman Elementary and Bruce High School both earned “High Performing” status in the state’s new accountability rating system.
Vardaman Elementary’s QDI, an overall value for the school’s test scores, placed in the top 20 among the 140 schools in Northeast Mississippi. VES earned a QDI of 186 and met the growth goals set by the state.
Bruce High earned a QDI of 170 and also met all growth goals.
Those two schools lifted the district to a 149 QDI earning it “successful” status and a ranking in the top half of the state’s 152 school districts. However, in a comparison to the other 32 school districts in Northeast Mississippi, Calhoun’s QDI ranked 22nd. The district’s graduation rate was 82%.
The other four schools in the county all failed to meet growth requirements and fell into the “academic watch” status.
QDI’s for the respective schools were: Bruce Elementary 140, Vardaman High 138, Calhoun City Elementary 136, Calhoun City High School 134 and Bruce Upper Elementary 133.
The new, more rigorous accountability system was implemented this year and has seven levels – Star, High-Performing, Successful, Academic Watch, At-Risk of Failing, Low-Performing, and Failing.
Only two school districts in the state earned “Star” ratings – Booneville and Pass Christian. Twenty-one districts were “High-Performing” and 38 were “Successful,” including Calhoun County.
Thirty-percent of the state’s school districts fell into the “At-Risk of Failing” category.
The Calhoun County School District plans to present its report on the new ratings for county schools at Monday’s meeting of the county school board.