SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - According to the Mississippi Department of Education 2015-2016 Student Assessment Data, 87 percent of Mississippi 3rd graders achieved a passing score on the 3rd grade reading summative assessment.
However, reports also show that South Mississippi kindergarten students do not meet the minimum reading readiness average when entering school.
A score of 530, which equals a 70 percent mastery, was set as the kindergarten readiness benchmark. Officials say the score "provides both a measurable distinction between Pre-K and kindergarten skills on STAR Early Literacy and a strong prediction to proficiency as measured by STAR Reading in Grade 3." Students who score below 530 are classified as Late Emergent Readers.
The average kindergarten score in the state was 502; with only 36.2 percent of students scoring at or above 530. Students in 96 out of 143 districts scored below 530; including each school district in South Mississippi. Long Beach scored the highest with 522, and Moss Point scored the lowest with 488.
Eighty-seven percent of 3rd graders in the state passed the summative assessment, scoring at least 926.
The top 10 highest performing districts in Mississippi include Bay Waveland, Ocean Springs and Pearl River County; all with more than 95 percent of students passing.The top 10 highest performing schools in Mississippi include Beach Elementary/Pascagoula and Saucier Elementary/Harrison County; both with a 100 percent pass rate.
The Department of Education released the following statement, saying in part:
In 2016, the Literacy-Based Promotion Act was amended and beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, students must score about the lowest two achievement levels in order to pass to the 4th grade.
In the 2015-2016 school year, students with a 504 plan or an Individualized Education Program can qualify for a good cause exemption if the received 'either intensive remediation for more than two years or who were previously retained for one year.'