For Immediate Release: October 19, 2023
Nearly 85% of Mississippi 3rd graders pass reading assessment for 2022-23 school year
JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) today announced 84.9% of 3rd graders passed the 3rd-grade reading assessment after final retests for the 2022-23 school year.
The 2023 final pass rate is practically the same as the final pass rate in 2022 (85.0%) and 2019 (85.6%). Due to the pandemic, the assessment was canceled in 2020, and the passing requirement was waived in 2021.
Final district-level pass rates are published in the Literacy-Based Promotion Act Annual Report of Performance and Student Retention for the 2022-23 school year. Students are provided with three attempts to pass the test. Though the 2023 final pass rate was nearly identical to previous years, the initial pass rate increased to an all-time high of 76.3% since the passing score was raised in 2019.
The Literacy-Based Promotion Act (LBPA) enacted in 2013 was created to help ensure kindergarten through 3rd-grade students develop good reading skills. The law was amended in 2016 and requires all Mississippi 3rd-grade public school students to score at level 3 or higher on the reading portion of the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program English Language Arts (MAAP-ELA) test to qualify to be promoted to 4th grade.
Good cause exemptions apply to certain students with disabilities, students learning English or students who have been previously retained. Local school districts determine which students who did not pass qualify for an exemption for promotion to 4th grade. Districts also consider their local promotion and retention policies for making determinations.
The LBPA takes a comprehensive approach to building the capacity of teachers and school leaders to effectively teach reading and implement an ongoing system to monitor student progress. The law enables the MDE to deploy literacy coaches to schools where data show students struggle the most with reading. Coaches work directly with teachers and administrators to help them become more effective teachers of reading. In addition, the MDE provides professional development related to teaching reading to teachers, school administrators and faculty in teacher preparation programs.
“It is encouraging that 3rd graders have maintained their pre-pandemic achievement levels. Now is the time to continue our focus on building literacy skills from pre-K through 3rd grade and beyond,” said Dr. Raymond Morgigno, interim state superintendent of education. “Students need strong reading skills to perform well in every subject. MDE will continue to provide professional learning opportunities for educators grounded in the science of reading to help all students be successful.”
Families can visit strongreadersms.com for resources to help children build reading skills at home.
Find all MDE news releases at mdek12.org/news.