2021-22 MAAP results show growth exceeding, near pre-pandemic rates

MDE also announced that the Petal School District placed in the state’s “Top 10 Districts” for all four subjects tested.
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 2:45 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2022 at 2:46 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) - The Mississippi Department of Education released statewide results from the 2021-22 Mississippi Academic Assessment Program, which show student achievement exceeding pre-pandemic levels in English Language Arts and science and nearly tying in mathematics.

MDE also announced that the Petal School District placed in the state’s “Top 10 Districts” for all four subjects tested. The only other school districts in the state to achieve that level of proficiency are the Long Beach School District and the Ocean Springs School District.

In Mathematics, Petal ranked third in the state. The Forrest County Agricultural High School also ranked seventh for Algebra 1.

In U.S. History, Petal ranked tenth, while the Richton School District was ranked first with the highest score.

Petal also ranked sixth in English Language Arts and fifth in Biology.

To view the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program Results Executive Summary, click HERE.

Overall, the tests showed the percentage of students scoring proficient or advanced reached an all-time high of 42.2% in ELA and 55.9% in science. They also reached 47.3% in mathematics, which is just shy of the pre-pandemic rate of 47.4%.

Student achievement steadily increased from the first administration of MAAP in 2016 until 2019, when the percentage of students scoring proficient and advanced reached a record high. Unfortunately, the pandemic created obstacles to teaching and learning throughout 2020-21, and overall student achievement declined in Mississippi and nationally.

20212022Change since 2019
Proficient or Advanced
English Language Arts (ELA)41.6%34.9%42.2%+0.6%
Proficient or Advanced

*No assessments were given due to statewide school closures at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The 2021-22 assessment results provide clear and indisputable evidence of the resilience of our students and educators and their ability to recover from the disruptions to learning,” said Dr. Kim Benton, state superintendent of education, interim. “We are confident Mississippi educators and school leaders across the state will continue to build upon this progress by setting high expectations and working to ensure every student in every school overcomes the setbacks of the pandemic and is successful.”

MAAP measures students’ progress toward academic goals that equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in college and the workforce. Teachers helped develop the tests to align with the learning goals for state classrooms.

MAAP measures student performance in ELA and mathematics in grades 3-8, science in grades 5 and 8 and high school English II, Algebra I, Biology and U.S. History.

The state administered a new U.S. History assessment in 2020-21; the percentage of students scoring proficient or advanced on this assessment increased from 47.4% in 2020-21 to 69.3% in 2021-22.

By 2021-22, districts had more experience managing pandemic disruptions and received additional support, including federal COVID-19 relief funds and state investments to help accelerate learning.

The additional funds enabled districts to pay for extended learning days, tutorial services and intensive interventions, among other supports.

State investments include the Mississippi Connects digital learning initiative, which provided all students with a computer device and services including on-demand tutoring, high-quality digital curriculum subscriptions and access to digital learning coaches.

“There have been incredible efforts in districts and at the state level to remove barriers for students,” Dr. Benton said. “We still have students in areas of the state who have not completely rebounded. Support will continue to be available in the upcoming school year and next summer to make sure every student can recover from the disruptions to their learning and narrow achievement gaps.”

The overall increase in assessment scores in 2021-22 after the decline in 2020-21 will likely impact the district and school grades because the calculation of the state’s A-F accountability grades relies heavily on the number of progress students make from one year to the next.

Overall, students made significant progress between 2020-21 and 2021-22, as schools focused on accelerating learning after the first year of the pandemic.

In addition, the passing requirements for high school Algebra I, English II, Biology and U.S. History were waived in 2020-21. This will affect the graduation rate until all students tested under the waivers graduate.

Accountability grades for the 2021-22 school year will be released at the Mississippi State Board of Education meeting on Sept. 29.

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