PARCC results: South MS students outperformed peers across state

Published: Nov. 5, 2015 at 3:15 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 5, 2015 at 6:19 PM CST
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JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - The state has released results from a new assessment that tested high school students on the controversial Common Core state standards. Many South Mississippi school leaders say they are pleased with the numbers.

For the first time, Mississippi students took the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test, which replaced the SATP and MCT. Thursday, the state department of education shared the PARCC scores for Algebra I and English II.

The newly-released PARCC scores are for students who took English II and Algebra I last year. Students are rated from level one to five, with five being the highest.

The results show most South Mississippi students outperformed their peers in other parts of the state.

In English II, Ocean Springs and Long Beach ranked fourth in the state in overall test scores. They tied with more than 73 percent of their students scoring a four or five, which means they are meeting or exceeding expectations. The state English II average is 49.3 percent.

In Algebra I, Gulfport ranked third in the state, while Ocean Springs landed fifth. About 67 percent of Gulfport students and more than 58 percent of students in Ocean Springs scored a four or five. The state Algebra I average is 27.4 percent.

The school superintendent in Jackson County is also impressed with his district's numbers.

"We are very pleased with what we see now. Of course data is still coming in, but right now, it appears that our district was above the consortium of the states that took the test. We're above that average, and we're above the state average, so that's really good," said Dr. Barry Amacker.

On the Coast, only Moss Point scored lower than the state average in both English II (14.8 percent) and Algebra I (12.7 percent).

This was the first and last time Mississippi will be giving the PARCC assessment, which tested students on Common Core standards. Starting this year, schools will switch to the Mississippi Assessment Program, which will assess the same standards.

"It's going to be another challenge. Hopefully, the work we've done in preparation with the College and Career (Readiness) Standards will transfer to this new test, and we're banking on that," Amacker said.

Students must pass both the Algebra I and English II tests in order to graduate from high school. Mississippi, along with 11 other states and the District of Columbia, took the PARCC assessment last year.

Students in grades three through eight also took their own PARCC test. Those results are set to be released next month.

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