Published Online: January 3, 2006

Mississippi's State Highlights

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Vital Statistics
Public schools 897
Public school teachers 32,591
Pre-K-12 students 493,540
Annual pre-K-12 expenditures $2.9 billion
Minority students 52.7%
Children in poverty 31%
Students with disabilities 13.5%
English-language learners 0.6%

Summary of Grades

Mississippi scores below the average state in all four graded policy categories in Quality Counts.

Although the state earns its best grade in standards and accountability, Mississippi still lags behind most states in this section. The state receives full credit for strong measures related to school accountability. However, it loses points in the area of assessments because it lacks tests aligned to state standards at the elementary and middle school levels in science and social studies.

Mississippi’s lower-than-average grade in teacher quality can be attributed, in part, to its lack of several key policies related to the professional support and training of teachers. For example, the state does not require and finance mentoring for all new teachers, and it does not finance professional development for teachers.

The state ranks near the bottom of the nation on policy indicators related to school climate. Mississippi performs especially poorly on measures of student engagement and parent involvement. Compared to the average state, more students in Mississippi attend schools that are reported to have problems with absenteeism, tardiness, and classroom misbehavior.

Mississippi also posts a below-average grade in resource equity. Its score on the wealth-neutrality measure indicates that wealthier districts in the state tend to have higher per-pupil funding levels than do poorer districts.

State Policy Report Card
MississippiAvg. State Score
Standards and accountability C+ B-
Efforts to improve teacher quality C C+
School climate D+ C+
Resource equity C- C
Overall Grade C- C+
Quality Counts Grading Breakdown
Standards and accountability Points awardedPoints possible
Standards 29.58 40
Assessment 18 30
School accountability 30 30
78 100
Efforts to improve teacher quality Points awardedPoints possible
Teacher education and qualifications 27.13 35
Teacher assessment 21.3 30
Professional support and training 12.05 20
Accountability for teacher quality 12.6 15
73 100
School climate Points awardedPoints possible
Engagement 8 15
School safety 14.83 20
Parent involvement 7.95 15
Choice and autonomy 12.5 20
Class size 6.6 10
School size 7.83 10
School facilities 10 10
68 100
Resource equity Points awardedPoints possible
Wealth-neutrality score 25 33.3
McLoone Index 21.67 33.3
Coefficient of variation 25 33.3
72 100
Note: Details may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Vol. 25, Issue 17

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