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State reading test readings are similar to pandemics

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Mississippi third-graders scored similar levels in 2019 at the “gate of third-grade reading,” showing relatively small learning losses as a result of the pandemic.

The Mississippi Department of Education on Thursday released the first results of the Third Grade Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) on Thursday. In total, 73.9% of students passed the exam on the first attempt, compared to 74.5% in 2019.

The Mississippi Legislature created the Literacy Promotion Act in 2013, which requires all third-graders to take a reading test before moving into fourth grade. Students must score 3 or higher on the test to gain a raise, indicating that they are competent in skills such as identifying key ideas, paraphrasing texts, understanding figurative language, defining the author’s point of view as well as their own, and using root words , prefixes and suffixes to change the meanings of words.

These test results are the first for which students will be held accountable since the beginning of the pandemic. In 2021, students continued to take tests as a benchmark, even if passing was not required for advancement; only 65.4% of students scored a pass level.

Kim Benton, interim research director, links the return to the level of passage to the pandemic (compared to 2021 scores) with the hard work of teachers, leaders, families and students.

“I think they very deliberately set their priorities, figured out exactly where the kids were strong and where there were opportunities to close the gaps, and then just hooked up,” Benton said.

At a meeting of the State Board of Education on Thursday, Benton stressed that high-performing schools attribute this to maximizing personal learning and maintaining a full schedule of school days, strengthening communication with families and using supporting materials provided by MDE.

“As a parent, looking at these numbers, I think it gives parents a lot of consolation that the learning loss that everyone was worried about because of COVID isn’t as bad as everyone expected,” said Matt Miller, a member board of the State Board of Education. .

Slightly more than 8,000 students who failed the first attempt had the opportunity to retake the test on May 9-13 and get another chance on June 20-July 8. In 2019, when 9,000 students failed the first attemptanother 4,000 students passed the final retest, and another 4,000 received promotions with respectable exceptions such as disability or passing an alternative assessment.

For students who have not passed the first two attempts, the districts will use pandemic relief funds to conduct summer reading camps, create individual reading plans for students, using the PAPER curriculumas well as strengthening community partnerships that support students learning to read.

“The hard work of teachers, students and parents in overcoming the learning failures caused by the pandemic is bearing fruit,” said State Education Director Carrie Wright.

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