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Low subject-area test scores are opportunity to improve

The state Department of Education recently released results ofsubject area tests for Mississippi, and the results are a mixed bagfor area schools.

The tests gauge students’ performance in algebra, biology, U.S.history and English. The battery includes three English tests.

Among local bright spots, Alexander Junior High, Enterprise,Brookhaven High and West Lincoln each had 100 percent of studentspassing one subject area test – Alexander and Enterprise in AlgebraI, Brookhaven High in U.S. history and West Lincoln in English.

These scores attest to the quality of instruction the studentsreceive as well as to their own dedication.

On the other side of the coin, some area districts performed, asa whole, far below statewide averages on several tests.

For example, in the Brookhaven district 92.2 percent of U.S.history students passed that exam. The state average was 95.7percent. Copiah County also scored below the state average with93.2 percent passing.

Low performance is cause for some concern, especially given thetradition of achievement for which our schools are so well known.But these results also present an opportunity for schools andteachers to identify weaknesses and formulate a plan for correctingthem.

You can’t fix a problem until you know about it, and now theproblems are known.