MISSISSIPPI (WDAM) - The Mississippi Department of Education released statewide results from the 2016-17 Mississippi Academic Assessment Program.
MAAP assesses student performance in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics in grades 3-8, English II and Algebra. MAAP is the new name for the Mississippi Assessment Program (MAP), which was first administered in the 2015-16 school year.
According to MDE, students showed gains in both ELA and mathematics. The percentage of students meeting or exceeding grade-level expectations on ELA assessments increased from 32.6 percent in 2015-16 to 34.9 percent in 2016-17, and from 31.1 percent to 36.8 percent on mathematics assessments.
"Student achievement in Mississippi is steadily improving thanks to the hard work and focused efforts of teachers, administrators, parents and students," said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education in an issued statement. "We have raised expectations for what students can accomplish, and our students are meeting and exceeding these higher expectations."
MAAP tests have five levels. Students scoring at Levels 4 and 5 are considered proficient or advanced in the subject. Statewide, the percentage of students scoring in Level 1 – the lowest achievement level - dropped in ELA and mathematics, while the students scoring in Level 5 – the advanced level – increased over the previous school year, according to MDE.
The MAAP results showed the following overall results:
- 22 districts had greater than 45% of all students scoring Level 4 or 5 in ELA, compared to 14 districts the previous year
- 32 districts had greater than 45% of all students scoring Level 4 or 5 in mathematics, compared to 15 districts the previous year
Comparison of grade-level results from 2015-16 to 2016-17:
Students scoring at Level 4 or 5, the proficient or advanced categories, are meeting or exceeding grade-level expectations. The scores suggest that students have a thorough understanding of grade-level content and are on the right track to being ready for college-level coursework.
Students scoring at Level 3 demonstrate a general mastery of the knowledge and skills required for success in the grade or course, and they are approaching expectations for that grade or course. Students scoring a Level 1 or 2 need more assistance in learning the content and are in need of greater supports.
With the exception of 4th grade ELA and English II, student achievement increased in both ELA and mathematics in all grades. The slight decreases in proficiency in 4th grade ELA (-1.3%) and English II (-1.2%) are due, in part, to significant increases in the number of students taking each test and the large proportion of students scoring at Level 2. Also, among the 3,132 additional students who took the English II assessment, 2,236 had taken the test in a previous school year and scored below proficient.
The results of the MAAP assessments are closer to the results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). MAAP raises the level of expectations for all students and provides parents a better picture of where their children are on their path to college or career.
While no single test can give a complete picture of achievement, annual assessments measure performance of meeting grade-level expectations and can provide important information about student progress and areas for improvement, especially when combined with student grades and teacher feedback.
"Student achievement is steadily rising across the state, which is the direct result of the great teaching and great learning that is taking place every day in Mississippi classrooms," Wright said. "I am extremely proud of all of our students, teachers and school leaders for reaching higher levels of achievement."