When the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress was released earlier this year, most states learned that their average scores in grades 4 and 8 reading and mathematics remained relatively flat since 2015. More troubling though, students performing at the lowest 10th and 25th percentiles saw a decline in their scores. To confront this decline, states like Mississippi and Wyoming are focusing their accountability systems on improving the academic growth of their lowest-performing students.

“In Mississippi, as in other states across the nation, we developed student growth measures not only to hold schools accountable for their students’ improvement but also to ensure that all students can get the resources they need to succeed,” said John Kelly, immediate past chair of NASBE’s Board of Directors and a member of the Mississippi Board of Education. “This is an important means for advancing equity and excellence in our schools.”