For Immediate Release: November 12, 2021
JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) has released the fall 2021 assessment for kindergarten readiness.
Among the 33,265 kindergarteners tested, 31.8% scored kindergarten-ready with a score of 530 or higher on the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment. Statewide, the average score was 487.
Results of students scoring kindergarten-ready in previous years were 36.6% in fall 2019 and 36.1% in fall 2018.
MDE allowed school districts to test students remotely in fall 2020 due to the pandemic. Districts and schools had access to their own district-level and school-level data to make instructional decisions to improve readiness and growth. The fall 2020 results were not publicly reported because of concerns with comparability of data from previous years, validity and test administration flexibilities.
The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment evaluates early literacy skills, revealing students’ understanding and capabilities upon entering school.
The minimum beginning-of-year kindergarten scale score associated with 70% mastery is 530. A score of 530 indicates a student can identify most letters of the alphabet and match most letters to their sounds. Students are beginning to “read” picture books and are building their vocabulary, listening skills and understanding of print.
Research shows 85% of students who score 530 or higher on the assessment at the beginning of kindergarten are proficient in reading at the end of 3rd grade.
“The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment is further proof of the pandemic’s impact on students in the state,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “Mississippi’s kindergarten teachers are outstanding. Yearly, their hard work leads to significant gains for the state’s youngest students, and I anticipate seeing those gains when students are retested in spring 2022.”