Several south Mississippi schools excel on latest state tests

By Trang Pham-Bui - bio | email

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - What a year it has been for the Pass Christian School District.  First, many students started the new school year in a brand new building. Now, they have another reason to celebrate: Impressive state test scores from the Mississippi Curriculum Test-2.

Pass Christian students consistently performed well in Math and Language Arts. In fact, the school district had the highest score in the state in 6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade Language Arts.

Other south Mississippi school districts also had strong showings. For instance, fourth graders in Long Beach outperformed their peers across Mississippi in Math.  And Ocean Springs fifth graders led the state in Language Arts.

Moving to the high school level and results of the Subject Area Tests.  Looking at south Mississippi's results:

In Algebra One, Petal High, East Central High, and the 9th Grade Academy in Hattiesburg were the top scorers.

In Biology, all three high schools in the Jackson County School District captured the top three spots.  St. Martin High's Biology score was also the third highest in the state.

In English II, Oak Grove High, Pass Christian High, and Long Beach High School ranked the highest in our area.  And Petal High, Pass High, and Oak Grove High School made the best grades in U.S. History.

This is the year the MCT-2 test scores really count. That's because the scores are being compared to the first test that rolled out in 2007.  The new test is tougher, with more challenging questions. But based on the results, many south Mississippi students rose to the challenge

Each school and school district were assigned performance levels ranging from the lowest "Minimal" to the highest "Advanced." The more "advanced" students you have, the more points your school earns.

In south Mississippi, Pass Christian had the highest percentage of 3rd through 8th graders in the "Advanced" category. That's followed by Ocean Springs, Gulfport, Long Beach and Pearl River County.

The rating system is also different from years past.  Instead of being assigned a level from one through five, each school and district will now get a label.

The labels range from the worst "Failing" all the way up to a "Star" school. The school labels will be announced in late October.

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