Mississippi’s third grade reading scores are continuing to rise. Throughout the state, 93.2% of 3rd graders passed the test and the initial pass rate has increased every year since the test was first administered in 2015. Since then, the passing rate has increased from 85% in 2015 to 87% in 2016 and 92% in 2017.
More than 60 school districts had a pass rate of 95 percent or higher.
The Literacy-Based Promotion Act requires 3rd graders to pass a reading assessment to be promoted to 4th grade. Students are given three opportunities to pass the test.
The Literacy Support Schools that had literacy coaches assigned to them to provide support and training to teachers had a pass rate of 88.4 percent this year, up from 87.5 percent in 2017, 78 percent in 2016 and 73 percent in 2015.
The reading portion of the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) English Language Arts is used to determine 3rd-grade promotion, in addition to meeting the district’s academic requirements for promotion.
Since the 2014-15 school year, Mississippi’s Literacy-Based Promotion Act has required that a student scoring at the lowest achievement level on the 3rd Grade Reading Assessment be retained in 3rd grade, unless the student meets the good cause exemptions specified in the law. Local school districts then determine which of their students did not qualify for one of the good cause exemptions for promotion to 4th grade.
The law was later amended in 2016 to require students starting in the 2018-19 school year to score above the lowest two achievement levels in order to be promoted to the 4th grade. This means that students are required to score at level 3 or higher on the reading portion of MAAP.
Based on preliminary data for 2018 for the first administration of the test, 73.8 percent of students scored at level 3 or higher which is up from 69.6 percent in 2017.
The Mississippi Department of Education said that starting in the 2018-2019 school year, they will be using alternate forms of the Questar-developed MAAP English Language Arts test for retesting instead of the Renaissance-developed reading test that had been in use since 2015.