News Releases

MDE Responds to USDE Feedback on State Plan

by Xi Guo | Feb 15, 2018

Carey M. Wright, Ed.D., State Superintendent of Education

Office of Communications & Legislative Support
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR, Director of Communications *601-359-3706 *FAX:  601-359-3033
Jean Cook, Communications Specialist *601-359-3519


For Immediate Release: February 15, 2018

MDE Responds to USDE Feedback on State Plan

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) provided the Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) an update today on its response to the U.S. Department of Education’s feedback (USDE) on the state plan to comply with federal education law.

The MDE submitted its response on Feb. 1 and is awaiting final approval. The agency responded to three significant points of feedback related to how schools and districts are graded: banking of Algebra I scores for students who take the course in 8th grade, incorporating a measure on the progress toward language proficiency of English learners, and adjustment to the growth measure for the lowest 25 percent of students.

In response to USDE, Mississippi will continue to allow the banking of Algebra I scores for 8th grade students who take Algebra I for later use in the accountability model, as permitted by federal guidance. MDE proposed no change in the calculation of low 25 percent growth, but rather submitted additional information regarding the use of the calculation for accountability.

Mississippi proposed adding an English Learner progress to language proficiency indicator, at an overall weight of 5 percent in the model, borrowing points from all other indicators in an effort to avoid the reset of cut scores.

 “At our SBE meeting in January, the Board made it very clear it wanted to comply with the USDE requests while ensuring minimal disruption to our accountability system. We think we have found a solution to do that,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education.

Originally, Mississippi’s plan included a timeline for the inclusion of English learner progress toward proficiency, as a plus/minus indicator to be included as a point value in the accountability model within three years. USDE requested that Mississippi include this indicator in the model with a point value when scores are calculated in the fall of 2018. MDE’s response to USDE stated the measure will be included in the 2018-19 accountability calculations.

In September, Mississippi submitted its state plan to improve outcomes for students in compliance with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the federal law that replaces No Child Left Behind (NCLB). In December, Mississippi received interim feedback via a letter and a conference call with the USDE. Much of the feedback was technical in nature, asking for clarification or further explanation on sections of the plan, but USDE also requested Mississippi make changes to address three components of the accountability model before the next school year begins in August 2018.

For more information about ESSA and to read the Mississippi Succeeds comprehensive plan and executive summary, visit


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