Desoto County News

DeSoto third-graders rate well on reading assessment tests

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) Thursday released results of its initial third-grade reading assessments and the results for many DeSoto County elementary schools went pretty well.  

Third-grade students must pass the assessments to be able to go on to the fourth grade. The assessment test indicates that the student is able to read at or above grade level.  

MDE says students must receive a “met requirements” or score above the lowest two achievement levels in reading on the established state-wide assessment. Students must pass the third grade assessment or meet a Good Cause Exemption to pass to the fourth grade. 

If not passed the first time, students are allowed two more chances to retest and pass the assessment. 

Statewide, 75.7 percent of third graders passed the state assessment the first time. In DeSoto County, 78.8 percent passed the reading assessment on the first attempt and 21.2 percent did not. 

The testing window for the first retest was last week, according to MDE, and the final opportunity for those who have not passed the assessment will come in June.  

Among DeSoto County schools, Hernando Hills Elementary had the highest percentage of passing students on the first try at 92.7 percent. Lewisburg Elementary was next at 90.4 percent. The lowest percentage of passing students came from Southaven Elementary School at 58 percent. The complete list of DeSoto County elementary schools and their passing percentages is found here:

The complete results for all of the state’s school districts are found on the MDE website.  

The percentage is nearly the same as the initial pass rate in 2022-23 of 76.3 percent when 31,623 third graders took the assessment, and higher than the pre-pandemic initial pass rate of 74.5 percent.

“When it comes to literacy, the collective efforts of teachers, administrators, literacy coaches and families are essential to students’ success,” said Dr. Ray Morgigno, interim state superintendent of education in a news release. “The MDE is committed to supporting instruction and resources aligned to the Science of Reading that will foster more achievement.”