SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Tests scores for students across the state of Mississippi show that achievement in English Language Arts has reached an all-time high. The Mississippi Department of Education released the results Thursday from the 2018-2019 Mississippi Academic Assessment Program, which are the required English and math standardized tests taken by students from third grade up through high school.
Out of the 16 school districts in South Mississippi, Long Beach had the highest third grade testing scores in both ELA and math with over 70 percent of students performing at a proficient or advanced level in each test. Students first take the MAAP test in third grade.
As far as individual schools, Bayou View Elementary School in the Gulfport School District scored highest, with 41 percent of students performing at an advanced level in ELA and 61 percent in math.
Reeves Elementary School in the Long Beach School District had 31 percent of its students perform at an advanced level, which was sixth highest in the state.
North Woolmarket in the Harrison County School District had 29 percent of its students perform at an advanced level, which was ninth highest in the state.
St. Martin East Elementary School in the Jackson County School District had 29 percent of its students performed at an advanced level, which was tenth highest in the state.
Ocean Springs is one of seven school districts in the state that ranked in the top 10 for student proficiency in both ELA and mathematics.
These rankings are based on the percentage of students performing at a proficient or advanced level at Gulf Coast schools on the third grade ELA test, also known as Reading Gate.
- Long Beach 73%
- Ocean Springs 67%
- Jackson County 65%
- Pearl River 61%
- Biloxi 59%
- Gulfport 59 %
- Hancock County 57%
- Harrison County 57%
- Stone County 56%
- Pass Christian 51%
- Pascagoula - Gautier 50%
- Poplarville 50%
- Picayune 48%
- Bay Waveland 47%
- George County 44%
- Moss Point 24%
MAAP measures students’ progress toward academic goals that equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in college and the workforce. Mississippi teachers helped develop MAAP tests, which align with the learning goals for Mississippi classrooms. 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% to 41.6% of students scoring proficient or advanced. Students scoring proficient or advanced in mathematics has jumped from 33.0% to 47.3%.
Mississippi’s plan for improving student achievement calls for at least 70% of all students to be proficient in ELA and mathematics by 2025.
“Mississippi students are outpacing the nation in learning gains thanks to their hard work and the hard work of teachers, school staff, school learders, and parents,” Wright said. “Education in Mississippi is part of our state’s success story.”
MAAP tests have five levels. Students scoring at Levels 4 and 5 are considered proficient or advanced in the subject, 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 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.
“Statewide assessments ensure that children in every school are achieving the learning goals for each grade level,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “When students score proficient or advanced, parents can be assured their child’s school is providing a quality education that has prepared students to be successful in the next grade.”
Seven school districts ranked in the top 10 statewide for student proficiency in both ELA and mathematics: Booneville, Clinton, Enterprise, Ocean Springs, Oxford, Petal and Union County. Eight districts ranked in the bottom 10 statewide for student proficiency in both ELA and mathematics: Amite County, Holmes County, Humphreys County, Jefferson County, Noxubee County, West Bolivar Consolidated, Wilkinson County, and Yazoo City. Humphreys County and Yazoo City school distrits became part of Mississippi’s first Achievement School District in 2019-20.
While no single test can give a complete picture of achievement, annual assessments can provide important information about student progress and areas for improvement, especially when combined with student grades and teacher feedback.
· Family’s Guide to the MAAP Results to help parents understand their child’s scores
· Family Guides to Student Success (Pre-K through grade 8)