Kindergarten students across Mississippi reported higher test scores during the 2022-23 school year, according to a recent report from the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Update.
Both kindergarten and pre-K students are required by the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) to take a Kindergarten Readiness Assessment in the fall and spring of each school year.
In fall 2022, 34.9 percent of kindergarteners scored kindergarten ready. When they were retested in spring 2023, 61.4 percent met the end-of-year target score, an increase over 57.7 percent in spring 2022.
Before the pandemic in the spring of 2019, 65.6 percent of kindergartners met the target score.
“The gains made among the state’s youngest students speak to the effectiveness of early childhood educators to intervene and accelerate learning and the impact of the state’s investment into these programs,” Dr. Ray Morgigno, interim state superintendent of education, said. “The MDE is committed to giving teachers additional support to produce continued growth.”
For pre-K students in MDE’s Early Learning Collaboratives (ELC), 64.8 percent met the end-of-year target score in spring 2023, compared to 65.1 percent in spring 2022. In spring 2019, 76.9 percent of ELC pre-K students met the target score.
As for pre-K students in other public programs, 64.5 percent met the end-of-year target score in spring 2023, compared to 61.5 percent in spring 2022 and 69.3 percent in spring 2019.
The MDE has released that the slight decrease in achievement among ELCs this year could be attributed to the onboarding of a record number of 12 new ELCs with a total of 5,119 students tested for the 2022-23 school year compared to 2,755 students tested in spring 2022.
The number of students tested in other pre-K programs dropped to 4,914 in spring 2023 from 6,112 in spring 2022.
The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment provides parents, teachers, and early childhood providers with a common understanding of what children know and are able to do upon entering school.
Teachers use the results as an instructional baseline to tailor classroom instruction and other services for pre-K and kindergarten students.