The Mississippi Department of Education this week released school and district level passing rates for the 3rd Grade Reading Assessment (third grade gate) and more than 220 Alcorn School District students took part.
The test was given to Alcorn County students during the week of April 17. Districtwide, 93.2 percent of third grades passed the test.
Corinth School District testing will take place in June.
Alcorn Central Elementary School third graders reported a more than 95 percent passing rate, the highest of the three district schools. Kossuth Elementary reported a 92.2 percent passing rate, while Biggersville Elementary reported a 89.7 percent passing rate.
Biggersville was selected, during the prior year, by the state as a Literacy Support School. As part of the program, the state provided literacy coaches to the school to support and train teachers.
“Our students and teachers have worked hard to prepare for the third grade test,” said ASD Elementary Curriculum Director Tammy Johnson. “We are proud of the effort our third grade students have put forth in order to score well.”
The Literacy-Based Promotion Act requires third graders to pass a reading assessment to demonstrate they are ready for 4th grade reading instruction. Students are provided with three opportunities to pass the test.
“Students who failed the first round of testing were actually retested on Thursday and several passed on the second attempt,” said Johnson. “We will offer a summer reading program to the students who will take the test again at the end of July.”
The act requires that a student scoring at the lowest achievement level on the 3rd Grade Reading Assessment be retained in third grade, unless the student meets the good cause exemptions specified in the law. Local school districts determine which of their students who did not pass qualify for one of the good cause exemptions for promotion to fourth grade.
The act was amended in 2016 and will require students starting in the 2018-19 school year to score above the lowest two achievement levels in order to be promoted to the fourth grade.
The reading portion of the test was used to determine third grade promotion. The test assess the Mississippi College and Career Ready Standards of reading for foundational skills, informational text, literature and language.
Due to Corinth’s District of Innovation status and the changes in the school calendar, the district were allowed to administer the tests at a later date.
“The reason for the alternate schedule is our students would have had five less weeks of instruction if we had administered the test according to the state schedule,” said CSD Superintendent Lee Childress. “We are in the process of testing students with Cambridge exams, Mississippi Subject Area Tests and the Mississippi Assessment Program tests. We will have all tests complete by June 9.”
Statewide, 92 percent of 3rd graders passed the test. The initial pass rates for the previous two school years was 85 percent in 2014-15 and 87 percent in 2015-16.