State test scores are in, and the news is good! School districts continued their decades-long trend of academic improvement. Mississippi students showed gains in nearly every grade and subject area, with more students scoring in the top three proficiency levels and fewer scoring in levels one and two. See the percent of students in your school and school district who scored in each proficiency category. School and district ratings are due out later in the fall.
The number of school districts with more than 45 percent of their students scoring proficient or advanced has more than tripled since the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) was first administered in 2016. In mathematics, the number of districts in that category has more than quadrupled. Congratulations to our hard-working teachers and students!
More on testing
The Mississippi Student Testing Task Force recently voted 9-2 to recommend that the State Board of Education eliminate the U.S. History end-of-course assessment, the only state test not required by federal or state law. The vote followed a poll that showed 77 percent of high school teachers oppose continuing the exam. The Commission on School Accreditation will consider the task force recommendation on August 19, and the final decision will be made by the State Board of Education. Any change would not affect the current (2019-2020) school year.
Additional surveys (https://www.mdek12.org/sites/default/files/Superintendent/teacher_survey_results.pdf and https://www.mdek12.org/sites/default/files/Superintendent/district_survey_results.pdf) regarding state testing showed that the inordinate amount of time required to administer the tests is associated primarily with the move to online assessments.
The most common reasons listed for excessive time spent on testing were:
• an insufficient number of electronic devices (students must be cycled through a limited number of computers to take the online assessments)
• problems with district broadband access and testing vendor software
The great work being done by our teachers and students is paying off, and they deserve our steadfast support. One of the most impactful ways to provide them support is by electing state leaders who respect teachers and are committed to investing appropriately in our public schools.
Please demonstrate your support for our teachers and students by voting for pro-teacher, pro-public school candidates in the August 27 Primary Runoff Election. If you can’t make it to the polls, be sure to vote absentee in your Circuit Clerk’s office by noon on Saturday, August 24.