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The New Albany and Union County School districts were graded “A” districts in the latest state accountability results released Tuesday.

“This is our third year in a row to be an A district,” Union County Schools Assistant Superintendent Windy Faulkner said. “We’re very proud of that.”

This marked the first time that the New Albany School District has been rated an “A” district.

“We are proud of our students, teachers and administrators for their successes and are appreciative to our community for their continued support of our school district,” New Albany School District Superintendent Lance Evans said.

The fact that the New Albany School District was rated an “A” shows that students are mastering academic standards, improving from year to year and graduating on time, officials said.

East Union, West Union, Myrtle and Ingomar attendance centers were all rated “A” schools.

“We’re proud of our students, teachers, parents and administrators – everyone played a role in it,” Faulkner said.

New Albany High School and New Albany Elementary School were rated “A” schools while New Albany Middle School was graded a “B.”

Mississippi’s A-F accountability system evaluates how well schools and districts are performing each year.

“Mississippi schools and districts are achieving at higher levels each year, and their grades demonstrate how well they are serving the children in their classrooms,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “I am extremely proud of our students and their families and every teacher, staff member, and leader who work hard every day in our schools and districts across the state. Together, families, communities, and educators are preparing students to be successful in college, the workforce, and life.”

Accountability grades are based, in part, on how well students perform and progress from year to year on the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) tests for English language arts and mathematics.

These tests are aligned to the Mississippi College and Career Ready Standards and are administered annually to students in grades 3-8 and in high school.

Overall, students showed statistically significant gains in both English language arts and mathematics from 2017-18 to 2018-19.

“Student achievement on MAAP reached an all-time high in 2018-19 because teachers are challenging students to achieve at a higher level,” Wright said. “I am a firm believer that students can and will achieve more when they are challenged and supported by great teachers who help them meet higher expectations.”

The accountability system places an emphasis on the progress students make in English language arts and mathematics from year to year, particularly the lowest performing 25 percent of students.

It also factors in how well students perform on science tests in grades 5 and 8, and the progress that English Learners make toward achieving proficiency in the English language.

Accountability grades for high schools and districts include the four-year graduation rate, student performance on Biology, U.S. history and ACT tests, and student participation and performance in advanced coursework such as advanced placement and dual credit/dual enrollment courses.

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