Less than 30% of the students in public schools in Washington County are at a level the State of Mississippi recognizes as proficient or advanced in English language arts and mathematics.
Numbers recently reported by the Mississippi Department of Education show the results of the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program for tests taken in the school year ending in 2019.
The results of those tests place students into five levels, which are defined as:
- Students scoring at level 4 (proficient) or 5 (advanced) have a thorough understanding of grade-level content and are on the right track for college-level coursework;
- Students scoring at level 3 demonstrate a general mastery of the coursework required for success and are approaching expectations for their grade. (In other words, a level 3 is not sufficient); and
- Students scoring at level 1 or 2 need more assistance in learning the content and need greater support.
For the 4,032 students who took tests in Washington County in English language arts in third grade through eighth grade and English II, 1,086 were deemed to be level 4 and 5.
For the 4,057 students who took tests in Washington County in mathematics in the school year ending in 2019 in third grade through eighth grade and Algebra I, 1,212 were deemed to be level 4 and 5.
According to MDE, the state as a whole placed more students in levels 4 and 5 than in the previous years. These data, along with other parameters, are used to rank school system achievements by letter grades. Those grades will be released later this year.
Western Line School District was the highest ranked district in the county in third grade English language arts results at No. 27 out of 141 districts in the state. Exactly 59% of WLSD students were ranked in level 4 and 5. Leland was No. 77, Hollandale was No. 109 and Greenville Public Schools was No. 117. All told, 38.6% of students in the county were ranked in level 4 and 5 in third grade English.
Third grade is the best performing group in the county. In both math and reading, 38% of the third graders were ranked in level 4 and 5.
The worst performing group in the county are the eighth graders. Only 15.7% of eighth graders are rated level 4 and 5 in English language arts. That’s only 75 total students in the county. They are better at math as almost 26% are rated at level 4 and 5.
The percentage of students rated at level 4 and 5 decreases almost in equal increments from grade to grade except students score slightly better in English II and algebra than they do in eighth grade.
Greenville Public School District’s highest category ranking is No. 38 for seventh grade English language arts. Almost 43% of the 280 students who took the test are rated at level 4 and 5. This is the highest ranking in the county for seventh grade English language arts. Leland is No. 105, WLSD is No. 107 and Hollandale is No. 121.
The highest performing class for Leland is in third grade English at No. 77. Of the 54 students taking the tests, 23 were at level 4 and 5.
Hollandale’s best performing class was the 77th ranked sixth grade English test takers.
Western Line School District’s average ranking is No. 77 out of 144 districts, which is the highest average ranking in the county.
Hollandale’s average ranking is 116, Leland is 114 and GPSD is 112.
A look at other districts in the state
For the entire state, 41.6% of students are at level 4 and 5 for English language arts and 47.3 for mathematics.
There were 250,050 test takers in English language arts and 250,689 in mathematics.
When MAAP was first administered in 2015-16, one-third of students in the state met or exceeded grade-level expectations in ELA and mathematics. In 2018-19, closer to half of students met or exceeded expectations in each subject. ELA achievement has increased from 33.6% to 41.6% of students scoring proficient or advanced. Students scoring proficient or advanced in mathematics has jumped from 33.0% to 47.3%.
Since MAAP was first administered in 2016, the number of districts with greater than 45% of students scoring proficient or advanced in ELA has more than tripled, and mathematics has quadrupled:
- 48 districts had greater than 45% of all students scoring Level 4 or 5 in ELA, compared to 40 in 2018, 22 in 2017 and 14 in 2016
- 62 districts had greater than 45% of all students scoring Level 4 or 5 in mathematics, compared to 52 in 2018, 32 in 2017 and 15 in 2016
Seven school districts ranked in the top 10 statewide for student proficiency in both ELA and mathematics: Booneville, Clinton, Enterprise, Ocean Springs, Oxford, Petal and Union County. Eight districts ranked in the bottom 10 statewide for student proficiency in both ELA and mathematics: Amite County, Holmes County, Humphreys County, Jefferson County, Noxubee County, West Bolivar Consolidated, Wilkinson County and Yazoo City. Humphreys County and Yazoo City school districts became part of Mississippi’s first Achievement School District in 2019-20.
Click on the below links to view a page containing each of the spreadsheets with the raw data from the MAAP exams. Under the first advertisement on each page you will see a clickable link to download the excel spreadsheet containing the data.