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Accreditation Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When did Mississippi first establish a performance-based accreditation system and make accreditation a mandatory requirement for all public schools?
    The Education Reform Act of 1982 required the State Board of Education (SBE), acting through the Commission on School Accreditation, to establish and implement a permanent performance-based accreditation system for all public schools. (See MS Code 37-17-1.)

  2. What is the role of the Commission on School Accreditation?
    The role of the Commission on School Accreditation is to continually review and enforce the accreditation standards and to make recommendations to the State Board of Education. (See MS Code 37-17-5.)

  3. How often does the Commission on School Accreditation meet?
    The Commission meets six times each year or at the call of the state superintendent. (See Accreditation Policy 1.6.)

  4. When are the accreditation statuses and performance levels assigned each year?
    Annual accreditation statuses are assigned in the fall based on data from the previous school year. (See Accreditation Policy 2.1 and 3.1.)

  5. What are process standards?
    Process standards address accepted educational principles and practices believed to promote educational quality, including staffing, certification, resources, instructional management, graduation requirements, facilities, etc. (See Accreditation Policy 2.2.)

  6. What are performance standards?
    Performance standards address selected components of the statewide testing program and other output measures related to the performance of an individual school. (See Accreditation Policy 3.2.)

  7. Do all schools receive a school performance classification?
    All schools do not have grade level configurations that are included in the statewide assessment system. For example, a school serving kindergarten, first, and second grades does not have student assessment data and does not receive a school performance level. (See Accreditation Policy 3.3.)

  8. How are performance levels assigned?
    School performance levels are assigned based on the following criteria: (a) meeting an annual growth expectation established for each individual school; and (b) the percent of students who are achieving at certain levels. (See Accreditation Policy 2.2.)

  9. How are students held accountable?
    One way that students are held accountable is through the high school exit exams, which are required for students to receive a standard high school diploma. (See Accreditation Standard 20.2 and SBE Policy IHF-1.) {MS Code 37-16-7}

  10. Are there any rewards for Level 4 and 5 schools?
    Level 4 and 5 schools are exempted from the sanctions imposed for noncompliance with certain process standards. (See Accreditation Policy 3.5.)

  11. Does the school district receive a numerical performance level?
    No, not at this time; however, under recently passed legislation, the SBE is required to develop a process for awarding a school district performance level.

  12. How many school districts have been under state control, and how many are currently operating under a conservator?
    Only five school districts have ever been under state control. Currently, two school districts have a conservator assigned.

  13. Do nonpublic schools participate in the statewide assessment system and state accountability model?
    Nonpublic schools do not participate in the statewide assessment system and are not assigned a school performance level. Participation in the nonpublic school accreditation process is voluntary, and accreditation statuses are assigned based on compliance with process standards. (See Mississippi Nonpublic School Accountability Standards, 2004 and List of Nonpublic Schools Accredited by the State Board of Education.)

  14. Do the four schools governed by the State Board of Education receive an accreditation status and school performance level?
    No. The four State Board governed schools participate in the accreditation process, and compliance with process standards is monitored; however, an accreditation status is not assigned for these schools. (See Accountability Standards for  Schools Governed by State Board of Education, 2004.)

Office of Accreditation     P.O. Box 771     Jackson, MS 39205-0771     Phone: (601) 359-3764     Fax: (601) 359-1979
 

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