Local schools surpass state results

Published 9:46 am Friday, May 13, 2016

Most local elementary students scored higher than their peers statewide on third-grade reading gate tests administered in March and April, according to data released Thursday by the Mississippi Dept. of Education.

Bogue Chitto had the highest pass rate on the Third Grade Reading Summative Assessment in Lincoln County, with 95 percent or more of students passing. The school also had the fewest number of test takers at 45.

The statewide average pass rate is 87 percent.

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Loyd Star was second with 92.8 percent of students passing. The school had 69 test takers.

Enterprise had a 91.5 percent pass rate and 71 test takers.

Brookhaven Elementary had a 91 percent pass rate with 233 test takers.

West Lincoln dipped below the state average, with a pass rate of 86.1 and 72 test takers.

Students needed to score at least 926 on the test to pass. Local school districts will determine which of their students who did not pass qualify for one of the good cause ex-
emptions for promotion to fourth grade. The remaining students will be retested before a decision is made about their promotion or retention.

Eligible for exemptions are students who have been learning English for fewer than two years, students with significant cognitive disabilities, special education students who have had two or more years of intervention and already flunked once, or any students with two or more years of intervention who have failed twice.

The Literacy-Based Promotion Act was amended in 2016 and will require students starting in the 2018-2019 school year to score above the lowest two achievement levels in order to be promoted to the fourth grade, according to MDE.

Also,  students who have an Individualized Education Program or a 504 plan who have received either intensive remediation for more than two years or who were previously retained for one year can now qualify for a good cause exemption.

When the reading gate was first implemented, lawmakers and Gov. Phil Bryant said it’s preferable to hold back students who can’t read at a basic level to give them special attention.

“The third grade reading scores prove that Mississippi teachers and students are up to the challenge of making literacy a priority, and the improvement we have seen from the first test to the final test proves that the extra help these students and teachers are receiving as a result of the third grade gate is making a difference,” Bryant said in a statement.