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Mississippi launches dashboard to report on pandemic education recovery

Photo by Megan Bean / Mississippi State University

Governor Tate Reeves has announced the launching of a public dashboard to report on pandemic-related education recovery.

The Mississippi Department of Education, Mississippi State University Research and Curriculum Unit, and analytics software company SAS have created a tool that shows the pandemic’s effects on student achievement and progress and how school districts are allocating federal funds to support student learning.

The tool also provides analysis that isolates the impact of the pandemic on student groups, and a public dashboard provides results to educators and school leaders to help guide recovery.

“In Mississippi, we kept our kids in the classroom so they could receive in-person instruction, and that made all the difference in their education results,” Reeves said. “This new dashboard provides a great opportunity for the public to access and analyze education data and better understand the work being done to continue improving Mississippi’s education system.”

While Mississippi’s students have seen the largest gains in the nation in fourth-grade reading and fourth-grade math as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the pandemic had negative ramifications for student achievement and progress in the state.

The new dashboard shows that, while students were negatively impacted in 2021, they largely performed close to their pre-pandemic expectations in 2022.

Mississippi is one of many states teaming with SAS to measure the impact of COVID-19 using statistical approaches proven over decades. In these approaches, students are compared to themselves. The analyses predict how students would have scored on assessments absent from the pandemic.

The Mississippi study calculates pre-pandemic expectations using historical state assessment data through 2019 and compares results from both 2020-21 and 2021-22 MAAP to those expectations.

Mississippi’s online, interactive dashboard offers insights into how different student groups fared during the pandemic. Measuring the varying amount of impact on student groups is essential to targeted recovery efforts to bridge gaps in educational achievement.

The dashboard also enables users to see how each school district in Mississippi is investing its federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. These pandemic-relief funds are intended to help students accelerate learning and can be used to improve school facilities.

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