How Successful are "Successful" Schools & Districts

By Aaron Rice
February 21, 2012

How Successful Are "Successful" Schools & Districts?

And are they so good that parents don't deserve to choose a better school for their children?

"Successful" Districts

    • "Successful" is not the highest rating for schools or districts; it is the third highest, following Star and High Performing. A "Successful" rating is the equivalent of a "C' average.
    • In two "Successful" districts, there are NO schools rated Successful or higher.
    • In twelve "Successful" districts, at least half the schools are rated below "Successful."


    • Thirty-six percent (36%) of "Successful" districts score in the bottom half of achievement scores.


    • Fewer than half of "Successful" districts met their growth projections in Reading & Language Arts last year.


    • Fewer than half of "Successful" districts met their growth projections in Math.


    • One-third of "Successful" districts met neither their Reading nor their Math growth projections.


  • Ten percent (10%) of "Successful" districts have a graduation rate of lower than 60 percent; two of those districts have graduation rates below 53.


"Successful" Schools

    • Forty-four percent (44%) of schools rated "Successful" score in the bottom half of achievement scores.


    • 139 "Successful" schools have lower achievement scores than schools on Academic Watch.


  • On the other hand, 83 "Successful" schools scored higher than "High Performing" schools.


A "Successful" rating means almost nothing in terms of letting parents and taxpayers know how well their schools and districts are faring. The whole rating system and the results it produces needs to be audited. The Department of Education has neglected to do that for at least the past three years. Also, our schools and districts should be graded A through F rather than using nebulous, confusing labels.

But regardless of the rating assigned to a district or school, parents should be allowed to choose a school that best meets their children's needs. Even in good districts and schools, there are children whose needs could better be met in a different setting than the one to which the government has assigned them.

Charter schools should be allowed in any district where there is sufficient demand. And that demand should be measured by parents' interest, not by the predictions of district leaders who fear competition.

Mississippi District and School Ratings Sorted by County - click here.

Mississippi School Districts Sorted by QDI Achievement Scores - click here.

Mississippi Schools Sorted by QDI Achievement Scores - click here.

Analysis by Mississippi Center for Public Policy.
Original source: Mississippi Dept of Education Accountability Results,


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