Student record

Statewide assessment results show student achievement rebounding to pre-pandemic levels

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Mississippi Academic Assessment Program

JACKSON, Mississippi — The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) today released statewide results for the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) 2021-22, which show that the results of students exceed pre-pandemic levels in English Language Arts (ELA) and Science and close to tying in Mathematics.

Overall, the percentage of students achieving proficient or advanced scores reached an all-time high of 42.2% in ELA and 55.9% in science, and reached 47.3% in mathematics, just in below the pre-pandemic rate of 47.4%.

Prior to the pandemic, student achievement rose steadily from MAAP’s first administration in 2016 until 2019, when the percentage of students achieving proficient and advanced results reached an all-time high. The pandemic has created barriers to teaching and learning throughout 2020-21, and overall student achievement has declined in Mississippi and nationally.

Matter

2019

2020*

2021

2022

Change since 2019
(before the pandemic)

Math
Competent or Advanced

47.4%

35.1%

47.3%

-0.1%

English Language Arts (ELA)
Competent or Advanced

41.6%

COVID-19[feminine]

34.9%

42.2%

+0.6%

Science
Competent or Advanced

55.3%

50.0%

55.9%

+0.6%

*No rating given due to statewide school closures at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The 2021-22 assessment results provide clear and compelling evidence of the resilience of our students and educators and their ability to recover from learning disruptions,” said State Superintendent Dr. Kim Benton. of acting education. “We are confident that Mississippi educators and school leaders across the state will continue to build on this progress by setting high expectations and working to ensure that every student in every school overcomes the setbacks of the pandemic and succeed.”

The MAAP measures students’ progress toward academic goals that equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in college and in the job market. Mississippi teachers helped develop MAAP tests, which align with the learning goals of Mississippi classrooms. The MAAP measures student performance in ELA and math in grades 3-8, science in grades 5-8, and high school in English II, Algebra I, Biology, and United States History.

The state administered a new assessment of United States history in 2020-21; the percentage of students achieving proficient or advanced results on this assessment increased from 47.4% in 2020-21 to 69.3% in 2021-22.

In 2021-22, districts had more experience dealing with pandemic disruptions and received additional support, including federal COVID-19 relief funds and state investments to help accelerate learning. The additional funds enabled districts to pay for extended learning days, tutoring services and intensive interventions, among other supports. State investments include the Mississippi Connects digital learning initiative, which provided all students with a computing device and services such as on-demand tutoring, subscriptions to high-quality digital programs, and access to digital learning coaches.

“There have been incredible efforts at the district and state level to break down barriers for students,” Dr. Benton said. “We still have students in areas of the state that haven’t fully rebounded. Support will continue to be available over the next school year and into the summer to ensure that every student is able to recover from disruptions to their learning and to reduce achievement gaps.

The overall increase in assessment ratings in 2021-22 after the decline in 2020-21 will likely impact district and school ratings, as the calculation of state AF accountability ratings is highly dependent on the quantity progress made by students from year to year. Overall, students made significant progress between 2020-21 and 2021-22, with schools focusing on accelerating learning after the first year of the pandemic. Additionally, pass requirements for Algebra I, English II, Biology, and United States History in high school were removed in 2020-21, which will affect the graduation rate until all students who have taken the tests under the waiver graduate.

Accountability grades for the 2021-22 school year will be released at the Mississippi State Board of Education meeting on Sept. 29.

Before the pandemic, Mississippi had become a national leader in education because students were progressing faster than almost any other state. Several factors have contributed to the steady increase in student achievement, including the implementation of higher academic standards and statewide support for teachers to help students achieve higher standards. Other factors include the effective implementation of several education reform laws and policies that have expanded or strengthened early childhood education, literacy, school and district accountability, and opportunities for advanced learning for high school students.

See the executive summary of MAAP results and the district and school-level results report:
mdek12.org/OPR/Reporting/Assessment/2021-22

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