Assessment scores return to near pre-pandemic levels

Mississippi education officials this week seemed pleased that the latest results from last spring’s Mississippi Academic Assessment Program, or MAAP, tests showed student scores moving back to achieving at pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels.

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) released the results this week and it said overall 74.4 percent of school students in 2022 passed state math tests and statewide passage of English and Language Arts (ELA) tests last spring were at 73.3 percent passage.  

The figures compared to 2019 statewide passage in math tests of 78.8 percent and 75.5 percent passage for ELA tests before the pandemic hit. 

No tests were recorded in the state during the pandemic year of 2020, but in 2021, the statewide numbers had dropped to 64.3 percent passage for math and 66.5 percent passage for ELA.  

“Mississippi education performance has once again reached new record highs,” said Gov. Tate Reeves after the results were released. “While states in other parts of the country kept their students out of the classroom, Mississippi committed to in-person instruction. These results speak loud and clear as to which approach was best for kids.”

As a whole, DeSoto County School District passage percentages on the state English test in 2022 ranged from 84.7 percent in Grade 5 to 74.3 percent in Grade 6. A total of 87.6 percent of English II students passed the state test. 

Results for the state math test last spring in DeSoto County ranged from 83.3 percent in Grade 7 to 76.4 percent in Grade 4. A total of 97.6 percent of Algebra I students passed their state test in DeSoto County Schools.  

In commenting on the MAAP results announcement, DCS Supt. Cory Uselton credited the district teachers for doing an excellent job of instruction during the pandemic.  

“For our proficiency levels to remain consistent with proficiency levels in 2019, that is quite an accomplishment.  Our teachers taught students virtually and in-person during the 2020-21 school year, and then they spent additional time to remediate many students during the 2021-22 school year.  It was a challenge for our teachers, but they always go the extra mile to help our students reach their potential.”

Accountability results are expected to be out later in the fall and that will provide a more detailed view of the state test results.  

“We are looking forward to getting all of the accountability data in the next few weeks,” Uselton said. “We will then be able to measure the growth of all of our students at every grade level.  We want each individual student to grow every school year.  When we receive the growth data in September, we will be able to compare our growth levels to previous school years.”

The 2022 Student Assessment information is found on the Mississippi Department of Education website.

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob provides content for DeSoto County News and occasionally is heard on the OB Pod podcast talking about area happenings. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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