The Mississippi Department of Education is releasing the full results of the first exam testing the state's Common Core-aligned standards. A majority of the students tested are still struggling.
Mississippi students are still lagging behind their counterparts in other states in the areas of Math and English Language Arts. That's according to the results of a multi-state, assessment known as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers or PARCC exam.
The PARRC exam was given to students in grades three through eight last spring and evaluated their skills in both math and English.
In Math, about a quarter of students in grades 3-8 met or exceeded expectations. The results were a little better for English, with about a third of students reaching those benchmarks.
It’s a big drop from last year, but State Superintendent of Education Carey Wright says the results provide officials with a starting place on where they need to strengthen instruction.
"I think each superintendent is going to need to look at his or her own results and then drill down to see who those students are that are at levels one and two," Wright says. "Those are the children that we really need to focus on and to find out why, but you have to drill down all the way to the student in order to know what kind of intervention you want to have in place and are there other things that we need to do be doing for those children as well."
Jackson Public Schools, the second largest district in the state, saw scores significantly lower than the state average. JPS Superintendent Cedrick Gray says the district has its work cut out for them.
"I think everyone needs to recognize, and I say this over and over again, that's a test we took for the first time and we will never see it again," Gray says. "There are some challenges inherent in that, but we're prepared to make sure that every day every one of our scholars is learning."
In addition to the PARRC scores, the department of education released the results of the kindergarten readiness assessment that show students are showing up to school unprepared to learn.