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Education

Mississippi students reach all-time high achievements on English and math assessments

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Photo from the Vicksburg Warren School District website.

Results from the 2018-19 Mississippi Academic Assessment Program, or MAAP, shows student achievement has reached an all-time high in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics, according to the Mississippi Department of Education

MAAP measures students’ progress toward academic goals that equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in college and the workforce, the MDE stated. Mississippi teachers helped develop MAAP tests, which align with classroom learning goals. The tests measure 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 percent to 41.6 percent of students scoring proficient or advanced. Students scoring proficient or advanced in mathematics has jumped from 33 percent to 47.3 percent.

In addition, the number of school districts with greater than 45 percent of students scoring proficient or advanced in ELA has more than tripled and mathematics has quadrupled:

“Mississippi students are outpacing the nation in learning gains thanks to their hard work and the hard work of teachers, school staff, school leaders, and parents,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education, in the statement. “Education in Mississippi is part of our state’s success story.”

The one spot that has shown a statistically significant drop in proficient/advanced scores is 6th grade ELA, which dropped 4.4 percent since last year.

Mississippi’s plan for improving student achievement calls for at least 70 percent of all students to be proficient in ELA and mathematics by 2025.

MAAP tests have five levels: Students scoring at Levels 4 and 5 are considered proficient or advanced in the subject. They 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.

Achievement also increased on all four required high school tests, Algebra I, English II, U.S. History and Biology. Students must score at Level 3 or above to pass these tests.

“Statewide assessments ensure that children in every school are achieving the learning goals for each grade level,” Wright said. “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.”

Mississippi introduced new science tests in 2018-19, and more than half of students in each tested subject and grade scored at Level 4 or 5 on the more rigorous assessments.

For more information, including spreadsheets showing how every school district did on every test, visit the MDE website.

Copyright © 2021 Vicksburg Daily News.

Vicksburg Daily News