Children in Kerri Burnside's 4th grade math and science class at Eastside Elementary in Clinton, are reviewing their assignments.
"For number one what is our estimating sentence. Forty times two equals eighty." said the class.
"We increased dramatically, score gains in 4th grade reading since 2013," said Cindy Hamil.
Burnside is hearing about the results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress Tests from the Principal, Cindy Hamil. Mississippi is the only state to make significant gains compared to 2013. Student proficiency in math rose four points to 30 percent and reading saw a five point gain to 26 percent during, the 2014-2015 school year. Nationally, rates stayed flat or declined. Kerri Burnside.
"Being a math teacher, it's not just finding out what 2 + 2 is. It's explaining the process of how to find an answer in math and applying those skills in everyday in real-life situations," said Burnside.
State Superintendent Carey Wright attributes the gains to Mississippi's more rigorous College and Career Ready Standards.
"They are the first group that have had the true benefit of having those standards implemented since they were in kindergarten," said Wright.
NAEP results for Mississippi's 8th graders also defied the national trend, which saw a decline in math and reading. The students began the tougher standards in 5th grade. Math rates inched-up from 21 to 22 percent and stayed the same in reading.
Wright says the state is in the bottom tier, but the more rigorous standards are working. They've increased professional development for teachers and principals, plus they're launching a reading campaign across subjects areas.