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85% of Mississippi 3rd graders pass reading assessment for 2021-22 school year

Education across the Magnolia State continues to rise to pre-pandemic levels, with the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) announcing that 85 percent of 3rd graders passed the 3rd-grade reading assessment after final retests for the 2021-2022 school year.

The results are only one percent below test scores from the 2018-2019 school year, where 86 percent of 3rd graders passed the assessment. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the assessment was not administered until the 2020-2021 school year and the passing requirement was waived.

Now, test scores have returned to levels prior to the pandemic, allowing a high majority of the state’s 3rd graders to move to the next grade level.

Photo courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Education

“The current 3rd-grade reading results are very encouraging,” said Dr. Kim Benton, the Interim State Superintendent of Education. “Not seeing a steep decline in the passing rate is positive news, considering disruptions to learning caused by the pandemic. MDE plans to continue offering resources to schools, districts, and families to help ensure more 3rd-graders become proficient in reading and will continue to provide literacy support grounded in the science of reading for students in upper elementary and middle school to further advance learning outcomes.”

District-level pass rates for the 2021-2022 school year are now published in the Literary-Based Promotion Act (LBPA) Annual Report of Performance and Student Retention.

LBPA was enacted in 2013 to ensure kindergarten through 3rd-grade students develop good reading skills, with a 2016 amendment requiring all 3rd-grade public school students to score at least a level 3 on the reading portion of the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program English Language Arts (MAAP-ELA) test to qualify to be promoted to 4th grade.

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