Test scores determine which of your schools make the grade

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - 2011 statewide test scores that determine if school districts are making the grade are out and several south Mississippi school districts continue to rise to the top. Pass Christian, Long Beach and Petal perform consistently well every year on the MCT-2 and Subject Area Tests. They've done it again, with certain grade levels making the highest scores in the state.

Pass Christian has proven once again why it's the number one school district in the state of Mississippi. Just look at this year's MCT-2 test results.

Pass Christian 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th graders all made the highest scores in the state on the Language Arts test. And most of the students in the Pass also landed in the Proficient or Advanced categories.

"We're thrilled, but we're thrilled because we're helping kids," said Dr. Sue Matheson, Pass Christian Schools Superintendent. "So often Trang, I'm accused of "Well, you all are just teaching the test." No, we're not teaching the test. We're teaching the curriculum and we're helping students to master that curriculum and we're very excited and very proud of our school district."

School leaders in Long Beach also have reason to be proud. Their 7th graders scored the highest in the state in Language Arts.

On the Math test, the numbers also look good for several south Mississippi districts. Pass Christian 3rd and 8th graders lead the state in Math. At the fifth grade level Pearl River County students were the best performers.

Moss Point has been working especially hard to pull up its scores. This year, the district restructured its elementary schools and launched a community-wide campaign to prepare students for the tests.

But the results show Moss Point still had the lowest test scores compared to other districts along the Gulf Coast. And most of the students are in the Minimal, Basic, or Proficient categories.

"We're less than optimistic about the numbers. The numbers, we had predicted an increase based on reconfiguration of our schools," said Dr. John Ladner, Moss Point Interim Schools Superintendent. "We had four areas that increased, but slightly. And 66 percent or the rest of that group did decrease slightly. We have a lot of work to do."

There were impressive numbers at the high school level with the Subject Area Tests. Pass Christian students scored the highest in the state in Algebra One. And Petal students made the best scores in U.S. History.

The test results are important because they will be used to rate each school from "Star School", which is the best, to "Failing".  Those ratings will come out in September. The tests are also used to determine if schools are meeting federal growth standards.

To view test results, go to www.tiny.cc/maars and click on search for state, district or school data. Be sure to select School Year 2010-11 for the most current results.

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