The Mississippi Department of Education has released the test results for the third grade reading-gate test.
In Carroll County, 50.9 percent of Marshall Elementary third graders met the LBPA requirements to pass their test. However, 49.1 percent did not meet the requirements to pass their test. The Mississippi Literacy-Based Promotion Act (LBPA) was adopted by the Mississippi Legislature in 2013, and it mandates that all third graders pass a reading assessment to be promoted to fourth grade.
This year, the state upped the pass/fail threshold from Level 2 to a Level 3 out of five, and the higher passing threshold had a great affect statewide.
Statewide, more than 25 percent of third graders did not reach the requirements to pass the annual reading assessment, compared to last year’s 6.8 percent.
In 2018, 91 percent of the third graders who took the test passed and only nine percent did not. The difference is the requirement increase.
Third graders have three tries to pass the reading test before being required to repeat the grade, and those who did not pass the first assessment, took the test a second time last week. Results are expected in the coming days.
Carroll County Superintendent of Education Billy Joe Ferguson said students who would’ve passed last year under the requirements missed it because of the change of standard. He said it’s hard to gage where a student is when the test and the requirements change.
Ferguson said students have another chance to pass the test this summer, if they did not pass the first re-test. If the child doesn’t pass his or her test this summer, then they are retained in the third grade. But, Ferguson is hopeful that after the results of the first re-test, which he said should be in this week, the district will have an idea of how many students they have to work with this summer.
“We’ll have a summer reading enrichment program that will help those students who are still struggling pass their test and hopefully those students will pass the next time around,” he said.
Ferguson said some students are granted a good-cause exemption, meaning there’s extenuating circumstances that prevented them from taking the test successfully. Because of the circumstances, for whatever reason, those students are able to be promoted.
Which means the numbers will rise on how many students actually passed the test, but he said until the results come back, the district doesn’t know what students need to work on. Once they return, students will be able to have one-on-time this summer to pass their state test.