School leaders from across Mississippi are in Meridian this week to discuss what to do about under-performing schools. Interim state superintendent John Jordan is among them.
For Mississippi schools, the former Statewide Accountability Rating System will soon be completely replaced.
"We used to have that old rating system where five was the best school district and one was the poor performing school district," said Jordan.
Under the new system, levels are non-existent. Schools and districts will start with a blank slate. They will then earn classifications reflecting their performances.
"We now have a system, that's a 7-step system, that goes from a star school to a failing school and various ranks in between that," said Jordan.
The old rating system used to just rank school districts. Once November rolls around shedding light on the new system, individual schools, as well as entire school districts, will be ranked.
"But the key point of that is that we are now rating individual schools in the state of Mississippi on a system that we think is very easy to explain and understand by the community," said Jordan.
Jordan said the new rating system was developed because education leaders found that some low-performing schools were a part of a level five school district. He also said it the new system should instill competition among the schools.
"We also see it as a means of competition," said Jordan. "We have to instill competition in public schools in the state of Mississippi. The whole system that we work on in our great country is based on competition and schools should compete as well."
Those who developed the new statewide accountability rating system said it will allow Mississippi schools to see how they compare to other schools across the country.
The state department of education oversees 152 school districts. That includes more than a thousand schools and half a million students.