[bitsontherun lTXAKhbP]JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – More school districts achieved higher grades in the first year of Mississippi’s new school rating system, thanks to increased test scores and the suspension of graduation rate requirements for higher-scoring districts.
Districts and schools have letter grades for the first time. The old seven-step system, running from a high of star to a low of failing, is now to a five-step A-to-F system. The bottom three ranks of the old system – low performing, at risk of failing and failing – all now count as an F.
While in 2011, only 32 of the state’s 152 districts earned what are now counted as As and Bs, this year 50 districts did. And while 70 got what are now Ds and Fs last year, this year only 57 rated that low.