• 54°

State, local test scores reveal drop

The Mississippi Department of Education on Thursday released results from new statewide tests that further illustrate the gap between Mississippi testing standards and those at the national level.

The disparity has ensured reform for the 2015-2016 school year spring testing that will require Mississippi students, teachers and communities to adjust to standards closer to that of the rest of the nation.

The assessments administered in grades 3 through 8 measured Mississippi’s students’ progress toward the academic goals laid out in the Mississippi College and Career-Ready Standards. These standards were designed to ensure students develop the skills and knowledge they need in jobs and in college.

As anticipated, student performance dropped from previous years’ performance levels in English language arts and mathematics. For the 2014-2015 school year, assessments from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers replaced the Mississippi Curriculum Test.

Statewide, nearly a third of students in grades 3-8 (30 percent) met or exceeded expectations for English language arts and less than a third of students (26 percent) met or exceeded expectations in mathematics.

“The PARCC assessments were far more demanding than previous state tests. The level of rigor was much closer to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), and our test results reflected that. These results mark a new starting point for our students. With continued instruction and support, we expect to see test scores to increase over time,” said Carey Wright, state superintendent of education.

According to PARCC, the students scoring at Level 4 or 5, the top two performance categories, are meeting or exceeding expectations. The scores suggest that students 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 are approaching expectations and know a significant amount of content, but may need additional assistance in mastering all aspects of the standards. Students scoring a Level 1 or 2 need more assistance in learning the content and are in need of greater supports.

Grade 3 math

BROOKHAVEN SCHOOL DISTRICT: 81.8 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 18.2 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5. LINCOLN COUNTY SCHOOLS: 66.1 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 33.9 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5.

Grade 4 math

BROOKHAVEN SCHOOL DISTRICT: 77.4 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 22.6 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5. LINCOLN COUNTY SCHOOLS: 68.5 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 31.5 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5.

Grade 5 math

BROOKHAVEN SCHOOL DISTRICT: 81.7 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 18.3 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5. LINCOLN COUNTY SCHOOLS: 72.6 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 27.4 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5.

Grade 6 math

BROOKHAVEN SCHOOL DISTRICT: 81.2 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 18.8 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5. LINCOLN COUNTY SCHOOLS: 75.2 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 24.8 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5.

Grade 7 math

BROOKHAVEN SCHOOL DISTRICT: 90 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 10 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5. LINCOLN COUNTY SCHOOLS: 86.4 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 13.6 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5.

Grade 8 math

BROOKHAVEN SCHOOL DISTRICT: 74 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 26 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5. LINCOLN COUNTY SCHOOLS: 80.2 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 19.8 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5.

The statewide results from PARCC provide parents and educators information on one measure of determining whether students are learning what they need to learn. When combined with student grades and teacher reports, annual assessments provide important information about student progress.

Like the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Mississippi assessments now require students to reach a higher bar than on former state tests. As with any change in standards and assessments, there is a period of transition as students adjust to higher expectations.

Grade 3 English 

language arts

BROOKHAVEN SCHOOL DISTRICT: 89.1 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 10.9 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5. LINCOLN COUNTY SCHOOLS: 67.4 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 32.6 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5.

Grade 4 English 

language arts

BROOKHAVEN SCHOOL DISTRICT: 84.2 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 15.8 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5. LINCOLN COUNTY SCHOOLS: 62.6 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 37.4 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5.

Grade 5 English 

language arts

BROOKHAVEN SCHOOL DISTRICT: 86.7 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 13.3 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5. LINCOLN COUNTY SCHOOLS: 72.1 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 27.9 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5.

Grade 6 English 

language arts

BROOKHAVEN SCHOOL DISTRICT: 79.2 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 20.8 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5. LINCOLN COUNTY SCHOOLS: 65.4 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 34.6 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5.

Grade 7 English

 language arts

BROOKHAVEN SCHOOL DISTRICT: 80.1 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 19.9 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5. LINCOLN COUNTY SCHOOLS: 67.2 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 32.8 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5.

Grade 8 English 

language arts

BROOKHAVEN SCHOOL DISTRICT: 81 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 19 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5. LINCOLN COUNTY SCHOOLS: 68.1 percent scored in Levels 1-3 and 31.9 percent scored in Levels 4 and 5.

In past years, there has been a large gap between the percentage of students meeting expectations on Mississippi’s state assessments and the percent achieving proficiency on NAEP tests. NAEP assessments are administered to a random sample of students nationwide in the 4th and 8th grade.

While previous state tests showed 50 to 70 percent of students meeting expectations, NAEP tests showed proficiency levels were actually in the 20 to 25 percent range. The 2014-2015 PARCC results close the gap between the results of state tests and NAEP.

For the 2015-2016 school year the PARCC test will be replaced and Mississippi will be administering the Mississippi Assessment Program, also working toward closing that gap. MAP will continue to provide meaningful feedback to parents, teachers, and students and let them know students’ progress on the path to college and careers.

“MAP is a Mississippi-developed assessment that is aligned to the same standards for college and careers,” said J.P. Beaudoin, MDE chief of research and development. “MAP assessments are designed to provide meaningful information to students, teachers and parents about student progress and achievement.”

For more information about the 2014-2015 assessments, parents should visit www.mde.k12.ms.us/MCCRS/parcc. To view the district- and school-level PARCC results visit: http://reports.mde.k12.ms.us/report1/r2014-15.aspx.