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Mississippi Ranks Top in NAEP Gains

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Mississippi Ranks Top in NAEP Gains
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Mississippi National Rankings NAEP Gains
Mississippi Department of Education

The latest Nation's Report Card is painting a dismal picture of math and reading achievement among American fourth and eighth-graders. But for Mississippi, here were a few bright spots in the findings. MPB's Kobee Vance reports.

Mississippi has achieved the number one spot in the nation for gains on the Nation's Report Card, also known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). According to the Mississippi Department of Education, 4th-grade students made the largest score gains in reading and math from 2017 to 2019.

Superintendent of Education, Carey Wright discussed the scores on an education panel.

“In 2013, we had two significant pieces of legislation that were passed, and so that gave us an opportunity to really develop a Pre-K through grade-3 strategy. So our whole approach has been ensuring that our teachers know how to teach the foundational skills of reading,” said Dr. Wright.

8th-grade students in Mississippi are also outpacing the nation's growth in math, and 8th-grade reading is on a steady pace.

Rachel Canter, Executive Director of Mississippi First, says while this is great news, there is still room for improvement.

Canter says, "No one thought that it was possible that Mississippi could catch the nation and we have finally done that. All of our kids are doing better than they have ever done, but we've still got twenty point gaps between rich and poor kids, between black and white kids. That's just not acceptable."

According to the report, Mississippi is the only state to hold high growth scores in 3 out of the 4 core subjects: math, reading, science, and writing.