MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - With the release of the MAAP test scores, parents, teachers and administrators want to know where their school districts rank across the state, including those who call the Moss Point School District home.
For third grade scores, 24 percent of Moss Point students performed at a proficient or advanced level in English Language Arts, down from 25.8 percent in 2018. Just over 11 percent of the Moss Point third grade students performed at the lowest level in English Language Arts, up from 9.4 percent in 2018.
In math, improvements are being made as 13.2 of third grade Moss Point students performed at a proficient or advanced level, up from 12.6 percent in 2018. However, 23.1 percent of the Moss Point third grade students performed at the lowest level in math, the sixth highest rate in the state and up from 15.2 percent in 2018.
For Moss Point the algebra results showed drastic improvements from last year, as 51.3 percent of students performed at a proficient or advanced level, up from 22.2 percent in 2018. Only 1.3 percent performed at the lowest level, down from 2.4 percent in 2018.
Improvements continued in the Moss Point High School English II assessment, with 34.2 percent of students performed at a proficient or advanced level, slightly down from 36.4 percent in 2018. Down from the 11.3 percent in 2018, only six percent of students performed at the lowest level.
District leaders are in agreement that a good reading background can change how well a student performs.
“Reading comprehension is definitely always an area you want to improve because as your reading skills go up, generally so do all the others," said Moss Point High principal Joe Griffin.
It’s one of the key areas district leaders are targeting to improve. To go along with that improvement, Moss Point School District is in year two of a five-year strategic plan for growth.
So far, officials say it’s working. Superintendent Shannon Vincent says over the past three years, the district has increased the number of scholars in levels 3, 4 and 5.
High school algebra teacher Myeshea Holmes said she sets the bar high early when it comes to her students.
“We don’t start traditional," said Holmes. "We kind of start with the hard stuff first and then we kind of transition to the easy stuff.”
The state algebra test required by high school students is another area where the district has shown drastic improvements over last year, with 51.3 percent of students performing at a proficient or advanced level. That’s up from 22.2 percent in 2018.
Holmes says one of her biggest hurdles is students coming into her classroom at different educational levels. She says starting with the harder lesson plans first gives students time to adjust.
As far as the test scores, Holmes says she’s focusing on her students. “I haven’t really focused on that. I’m focusing on the group before me."
Superintendent Vincent released the following statement in response to this year’s test scores:
“The Moss Point School District’s mission and goal this academic year is based on growth and moving into the level of proficiency. Over the past three years, MPSD has decreased the number of scholars in Level 1 (minimal) and Level 2 (basic) and increased the number of scholars in level 3 (passing). The goal is to move the Level 3 scholars to Level 4 (proficiency) and Level 5 (advanced). Only Levels 4 and 5 receive points on the accountability model.
We have reconfigured our building leadership to support and accommodate the needs of our scholars to include additional support in mathematics and English Language Arts. When we look at success, our kindergarten scholars experienced the highest level of growth on the Coast and ranked amongst the top 20 in the state for growth. Our English Language Learners, over 70% met their progress to proficiency goals on the state assessment.
We are experiencing pockets of growth in grades 4th-12th. The ultimate goal is to ‘Rise Above it All’ and experience 100% growth across the board.”
ABOUT MAAP STATEWIDE
MAAP measures student performance in ELA and mathematics in grades 3-8 and in high school English II and Algebra I. When MAAP was first administered in 2015-16, one-third of students met or exceeded grade-level expectations in ELA and mathematics. In 2018-19, closer to half of students met or exceeded expectations in each subject. ELA achievement has increased from 33.6-41.6 percent of students scoring proficient or advanced. Students scoring proficient or advanced in mathematics has jumped from 33.0-47.3 percent.
Students scoring at Level 4 or 5, the proficient or advanced categories, have a thorough understanding of grade-level content and are on the right track to being ready for college-level coursework.
Students scoring at Level 3 demonstrate a general mastery of the knowledge and skills required for success in the grade or course, and they are approaching expectations for that grade or course. Students scoring a Level 1 or 2 need more assistance in learning the content and are in need of greater supports.