CCSD ranked #3 highest performing district on state literacy test

From press and staff reports


The Choctaw County School District continues its commitment to prepare all of its students to exceed their expectations as it again places in the Top 10 of highest performing districts for the 3rd Grade Mississippi Assessment Program English Language Arts Assessment.


The district is continuing the success of last year when the State Department of Education announced the district had two of the top three schools in the state in Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Results for Spring 2016.


The Mississippi Department of Education this past Thursday released school and district level passing rates for the first administration of the test.


MDE results show the pass rate for the local district, Weir Elementary School, French Camp Elementary and Ackerman Elementary Schools as greater than or equal to 95 percent each, which is the highest figure listed for any district or school. The number of test-takers at each school was 29 at WES, 23 at FCE and 62 at AES.


That rate placed the Choctaw County School District among the top 10 highest-performing districts on the test with a pass rate of least 95 percent, ranking it the third highest in the state, according to state Education Department.


The other top 10 districts were Aberdeen School District, Union County School District, Houston School District, Western Line School District, Union Public School District, Newton County School District, Ocean Springs School District, Stone County School District, and Webster County School District


The CCSD’s initial pass rates for the previous two school years were 94.5 percent in 2014-15 and 93.1 percent in 2015-16.


Statewide, 92 percent of third-graders passed the test. The initial pass rates for the previous two school years were 85 percent in 2014-15 and 87 percent in 2015-16 statewide.

The Literacy-Based Promotion Act requires third-graders to pass a reading assessment to demonstrate they are ready for fourth-grade reading instruction. Students are provided with three opportunities to pass the test.


This school year, the reading portion of the Mississippi Assessment Program English Language Arts was used to determine third-grade promotion. In the previous two school years, a reading test developed by Renaissance Learning was used as the initial test and for both retest opportunities. That test is now the alternative assessment for students who did not pass the reading test on their first try. Both tests assess the Mississippi College and Career Ready Standards of reading for foundational skills, informational text, literature and language.


Students who did not pass the first reading test were retested last week.  The final retest opportunity will take place between June 26 and Aug. 4.


Literacy Support Schools, which had literacy coaches assigned to them to provide support and training to teachers, had a pass rate of 87.5 percent this year, up from 78 percent in 2016 and 73 percent in 2015.


The LBPA requires that a student scoring at the lowest achievement level on the Third-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.