News Releases 2014

Statewide Kindergarten Assessment Reveals Majority of Students Enter School Unprepared

by Xi Guo | Oct 21, 2014

Carey M. Wright, Ed.D., State Superintendent of Education

Office of Communications & Legislative Support
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR, Director of Communications *601-359-3706 *FAX:  601-359-3033
Jean Cook, Communications Specialist *601-359-3519


For Immediate Release: October 21, 2014 

Statewide Kindergarten Assessment Reveals Majority of Students Enter School Unprepared 

JACKSON, Miss. – The results of Mississippi’s first statewide assessment of Kindergarten readiness reveal that two-thirds of the state’s youngest learners enter school unprepared to learn.

More than 40,000 Kindergarteners from 144 districts throughout the state took the STAR Early Literacy exam during the first month of the 2014-15 school year. More than 65% of students scored below the 530 benchmark score that indicates a student has mastered at least 70% of early reading skills. The state average score was 501.

“If there is evidence as compelling as it could possibly be for the need for early childhood programming, it’s the results of this kindergarten assessment,” state Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education.

The assessment evaluated skills such as the ability to recognize letters and match letters to their sounds and a student’s recognition that print flows from left to right. The exam produced reports for parents and teachers that detail each child’s early reading skills. Teacher reports also include diagnostic information and instructional plans for every student.

Research from a four-year study show that 84% of students at the beginning of Kindergarten with a score of 530 or above on the STAR Early Literacy exam are on track to become proficient readers by the end of third grade.

Data from this year’s Kindergarten readiness assessment will help identify school-readiness levels around the state. The results also support the Mississippi Department of Education’s effort to increase access to high-quality early childhood education.

To view the results, visit

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