State results released for tests tied to Common Core - - The News for South Mississippi

State results released for tests tied to Common Core

District leaders say the scores will be useful. (Photo source: WLOX News) District leaders say the scores will be useful. (Photo source: WLOX News)

A new test, tougher classroom standards, and different scoring system were the challenges elementary and middle school students across Mississippi faced as they took their first PARCC assessment in 2014.

Looking at the percentage of students who met or exceeded expectations in English/language arts, Ocean Springs third graders ranked third in the state, and Petal rounded out the top five.

Petal also took the top spot at the fourth, fifth, and sixth grade levels for English/language arts. Pass Christian came in second. In the eighth grade, Pass Christian also placed second in the state, and Biloxi ranked fourth.

"I was very pleased. I think our teachers did what we asked them to do. They held students to a very high standard and they performed. I'm very proud of our scores," said Biloxi Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Karen Norwood.

When it comes to math, the only South Mississippi district to rank in the top five in the state was Petal. Most coast districts performed better than the state average in both math and English/language arts and in many grade levels, schools on the coast exceeded the national average.

Looking at just the scores on the coast, Pass Christian and Ocean Springs consistently came out on top in those subject areas.

"So very, very proud of them," said Pass Christian Schools Superintendent Beth John.

Fourth and eighth graders in Gulfport also excelled in math. District leaders say the scores will be useful.

"We use these as a baseline, but also, we learned a lot from this test about our student's computer abilities," said John.

However, Mississippi students will no longer take the PARCC test, as schools are switching to a new test called the Mississippi Assessment Program (MAP). Although a different test, MAP will assess the same career and readiness standards.

"We take the results and say what works, what didn't. It's always a constant change, and constant striving to improve, but it is a completely new ball game again this year," said Norwood.

Scores for Moss Point and Poplarville were among the lowest in South Mississippi. 

Moss Point School District Superintendent Dr. Shannon Vincent released the followed statement Thursday afternoon:

"The new PARCC assessments were much more rigorous than previous assessments as indicated by the results, statewide. Specifically, in Moss Point, we have identified many areas in which we can improve. These results are a baseline set of scores. This is a good point for us to review and revise what is happening and make adjustments to make more significant gains in student achievement. The good news is, we have no choice but to improve. We anticipate growth each year over the next few years, as we focus on instructional practice, interventions, remediation, and enrichment. We are all aware that what gets measured, gets done. We are measuring the effectiveness of teaching strategies and will be working toward student achievement each day our students enter the classrooms in the Moss Point School District."  

The MDE released scores for high school students in November. 

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