Mississippi Academic Assessment Program preliminary data testing scores in the Clarksdale Municipal School District were unsatisfactory in the eyes of board members and administrators.
Assistant superintendent Toya Matthews gave a presentation breaking everything down during the Thursday, Aug. 16 board meeting. Superintendent Dennis Dupree said one common problem several of the schools have is there have been too many substitutes through the years.
Dupree discussed the matter after board member Delores Harris asked the reason for the low scores.
“We had so many subs here,” Dupree said, adding it has been the same way for years.
“It is what it is, Ms. Harris. You asked me for a factor. That’s the only factor you’ve got. We’ve got one outlier there that’s really doing well. When you have an outlier like that, you can say, ‘OK, this school is performing well.’”
Dupree said the one school has consistently performed better with “pretty much zero” turnover.
“When you have that continuity, you’re building staff and you’re probably going to have a higher rate of success,” he said. “Most of our schools, we don’t have that. We have high turnover rate, a ton of subs throughout the year.”
Dupree declined to name any specific school at this time, but he did say the CMSD plans to break things down and see how each school performed individually.
“In elementary, we’re not looking nowhere near the way we wanted to look, period,” he said. “We saw those percentages and we’ll break it down school by school so we can see how each school did.”
Dupree said he is hoping each principal will be able to take ownership of his or her school.
During her presentation, Matthews estimated there are now 2,100 students in the CMSD.
There were five levels for each part of the MAAP data with one being the lowest and five being the highest.
n In English Language Acquisition, 35.1 percent of third-graders were at Level 2 and 39.9 percent of fourth-graders were also at Level 2.
n Forty-three percent of fifth-graders were at Level 3 for ELA, while none were at Level 5 and 41.1 percent of sixth-graders were at Level 2.
n A total of 33.5 percent of seventh-graders were at Level 3 for ELA and 36.9 percent of eighth-graders were also at Level 3.
n A total of 33.7 percent of third-graders were at Level 2 for mathematics, while none were at Level 5, and 32.1 percent of fourth-graders were at Level 3.
n A total of 36.9 percent of fifth-graders were at Level 3 for mathematics and 40.6 of sixth-graders were at Level 2.
n A total of 40.4 percent of seventh-graders were at Level 2 for mathematics and 37.5 percent of eighth-graders were at Level 2.
n A total of 42.5 percent of English II students were at Level 3 and 42.8 percent of Algebra I students were at Level 3. No Algebra I students were at Level 5.
Matthews said there was a meeting at the Mississippi Department of Education and the CMSD will have to wait and see how the scores will be viewed.
“We’re at a standstill until they decide how they’re going to look at the scores,” Matthews said.
“They’re not the way we want them to look, but we have to wait because the state is asking them to relook at some of the information that they presented today. We’re in hold mold until they bring something back to the table.”
Board president Rob Tyner agreed the district needs to break down scores for each school.
“That will give us an opportunity to find out (why the results are what they are) from the principals,” he said. “They can explain why.”