Proficiency score increases keep PSD in top tier

By HASKEL BURNS,

In 2017, the Petal School District was rated by the Mississippi Department of Education as the No.1 school district in the state.

The school district only continues to march upward this year, as the MDE’s latest proficiency ratings – which were publicly released today – show Petal schools with even higher proficiency scores than last year.

For 2018, the district scored a 63.9 proficiency level in English Language Arts, 75.6 in Math, 82.2 in Science and 79 in History. Those scores are up from 2017’s 56.1 in English Language Arts, 70.5 in Math, 79.3 in Science and 77.5 in History.

“Looking at proficiency only, we increased in all four major categories,” district superintendent Matt Dillon said. “I could not be more proud of the results that our teachers, administrators, students, families and support staff get – everybody working together.

“Our teachers continue to really pour into our students and get the most out of them, and this is yielded in these results. For us to be rated the No. 1 school district in the state last year, and to continue to show growth in proficiency, it’s just amazing what our teachers and leaders do to make a difference.”

Broken down by grades, the district placed first in the state in five categories: third-grade ELA (up from No. 2 last year), fourth-grade ELA (up from No. 23 last year), seventh-grade ELA (up from No. 17 last year) eighth-grade ELA (remained at No. 1 from last year) and eighth-grade math (up from No. 2 last year). The district placed seventh in the state in fifth-grade ELA (down from No. 3 last year), 10th in sixth-grade ELA (down from No. 1 last year), seventh in English II (down from No. 6 last year), seventh in third-grade math (down from No. 1 last year), third in fourth-grade math (up from No. 7 last year), third in fifth-grade math (down from No. 1 last year), remained at No. 2 in seventh grade math and placed eighth in Algebra I (down from No. 6 last year).

“So we’re in the Top 10 in every category this year, and last year we weren’t,” Dillon said. “So I’m very proud of that.

When you jump from 17 to 1 (in seventh-grade ELA) and 23 to 1 (in fourth-grade ELA), that’s huge jumps. I think that we’re going to be right there at the top, as far as proficiency levels.”