/Miss test results rise again; National rank still low

Miss test results rise again; National rank still low

Mississippi saw some of the greatest gains on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the nation’s report card about public schools, for the second consecutive year. Despite recent improvements, the state remains at the bottom of the national rankings. Mississippi ranks second for significant gains in science, math, and reading results. The state is still in the bottom tier of each grade and subject. There is also a large achievement gap between students of different races and genders in the state. According to Dr. Kim Benton (chief academic officer of the Mississippi Department of Education), closing achievement gaps is a priority in Mississippi and nationally. “All students can achieve high levels of achievement in science, reading, and math.” The 2015 NAEP showed significant gains in science scores for 4th through 8th graders. This test assesses students’ skills in multiple areas. Since 2009, Mississippi was ranked fourth for science growth in both grades. The score of fourth graders rose 7 points from 2009, when they were last tested. However, 8th graders scored 3 points higher than 2011. Nationally, 4th and 8th grades saw an increase of 4 points in science scores from 2009 to 2011, while the score for 12th graders remained flat. Carey Wright, State Superintendent of Education, stated that “our students’ science growth is consistent with their achievements on NAEP readings and math.” Mississippi was the only nation state to see an increase in 4th graders’ NAEP reading and math scores. The fourth grade gained 5 points in reading, and 3 in math from the 2013 testing period. The tests were administered to students in the 4th, 8th, and 12th grades in 2015.