School Rating System Likely to Change Again

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Jackson, Miss.

After resistance from district superintendents, the Mississippi Board of Education is likely to again rework its rating system for high schools and districts.

Last month, the board proposed changes emphasizing high school graduation rates, at federal officials' demand.

But when the board sought public comments, superintendents complained the new system raised required test scores on the state's A-to-F grade system.

State Superintendent Dr. Carey Wright proposes to return to score levels the board approved in January.

However, district superintendents may not get a second wish. The state had promised districts that they could keep 2013 ratings in 2014 and 2015 if grades would otherwise fall during a transition to a new curriculum and new tests. But state officials say federal approval is unlikely for a freeze longer than one year.