What you need to know about Biloxi test scores

OK, so maybe you’ve seen the myriad numbers released this week by the Mississippi Department of Education, and you may have been left scratching your head about what they all mean.

The voluminous compilation was actually a collection of raw data that showed test scores from individual schools and school districts. Those numbers will be used to help formulate the school labels and rankings next month.

“Right now, the message for parents in Biloxi Public Schools is simple,” says Biloxi Public Schools Superintendent Arthur McMillan. “Our students are doing an outstanding job. They outperformed the past scores, and if you look at the state numbers, we well outperformed the state.”

Two key gauges of progress will be announced Sept. 13. They are the QDI, or Quality of Distribution Index, which measures achievement and the distribution of student performance
at the basic, proficient and advanced levels; and the much-promoted school labels.

“The QDI scores and the labels will show how everyone ranked throughout the state,” McMillan said. “People may recall the old system, where the top schools and districts were rated Star. Now, the state is going to system that uses A, B, C and so forth. Speaking for our administrators, our staff and our teachers here at Biloxi Public Schools, we’re excited about what the announcement in September is going to mean, especially to our students, our parents, and our city in general. That’s all we can say at this point, until Sept. 13.”

The charts: Dr. Karen Norwood, Biloxi’s assistant superintendent for secondary education, has assembled a host of easy-to-read charts to help illustrate Biloxi’s scores over the past three years. To see the charts, click here.

McMillan on record: Biloxi Public Schools Superintendent Arthur McMillan will discuss test scores during an appearance on WLOX News This Week, airing Saturday at 5 p.m. And Sunday at 6:30 a.m. on WLOX.

News and notes

Weekend preview: To see the weekend entertainment lineup, as compiled by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau, click here.

Webcasting: Hear the latest on the Hurricane Hunters in this week’s edition of the City Desk webcast. To listen to the program, click here.

Council preview: The Biloxi City Council will meet Tuesday at 10 a.m. for another discussion of the FY 2014 municipal budget. Social-service spending is expected to be one of the topics. On Tuesday afternoon, the council faces an agenda of nearly 20 issues, including several land-use and zoning measures. To read the entire agenda and supporting documents, click here.

RV park issue: The City Council is expected to vote on whether or not to change zoning to allow a proposed RV park off Wells Drive, near the A.J. Holloway Sports Complex during the council meeting on Sept. 3 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Katrina observance: The city will stage its annual Katrina memorial observance on Aug. 29 at 8 a.m. at the Katrina memorial on the Town Green.

Shrimp Bowl: The Biloxi Indians face Bay High in Game 1 of the Shrimp Bowl Classic today at 5 p.m. at Milner Stadium in Gulfport. Game 2, Gulfport vs. Pearl River Central, begins at 7:30 p.m.

Healthy reminder: Biloxi Excel By 5 holds its annual Ready Set GO Children’s Health Fair Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at the Biloxi Resource Center, Lopez School, 140 St. John Ave.