Mississippi Students Make Impressive Gains on National Tests

Posted 3/25/2016

Since the implementation of the new, higher College & Career Readiness Standards, Mississippi students have made impressive gains in achievement on both state and national measures, including on the National Assessment of Educational Progress* (NAEP). In 2015, Mississippi fourth graders led the nation in achievement growth. See details

The effects of poverty. In every state, the average NAEP scale scores of students in poverty are lower than those of students not in poverty. Mississippi has a much higher percent of students in poverty than other states, a factor that greatly affects our state’s overall scale scores and, therefore, Mississippi’s overall rankings**. A more accurate picture of Mississippi students’ performance can be ascertained by comparing the average scale scores of like students (i.e., poor students in Mississippi compared to poor students in other states). When the Spring 2015 NAEP results for like students are compared, state to state, we find that:

Mississippi ranks 35th in the nation in average scale scores of economically disadvantaged students in grade 4 math, up from 45th in the nation in 2013 (the last time the test was administered). See state rankings

Mississippi ranks 35th in the nation in average scale scores of non-economically disadvantaged students in grade 4 math, up from 46th in the nation in 2013 (the last time the test was administered). See state rankings

Highlights of the Spring 2015 NAEP assessments:

  • Mississippi was the only state in the nation to have a significant increase in grade 4 math scores.
  • Mississippi was one of 13 states with a significant increase in grade 4 reading scores.
  • Mississippi was the only state in the nation to have significant gains in both grade 4 math and reading.
  • Mississippi’s grade 4 math proficiency rose from 26 to 30 percent.
  • Mississippi’s grade 4 reading proficiency rose from 21 to 26 percent.
  • Mississippi’s long-term gain in grade 4 math was greater than all neighboring states and all Southeastern states (including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida), and 12 points greater than the national average gain.
  • Mississippi’s long-term gain in grade 4 reading was greater than all neighboring states and all but one of the Southeastern states (including North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia; Florida’s gain was 4 points above Mississippi’s), and 9 points greater than the national average gain.

MS NAEP Math 4th SE States

MS NAEP Reading 4th SE States

*Every other year, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP – also called The Nation’s Report Card) is administered to randomly selected groups of students in grades four and eight in each state, the District of Columbia, and Department of Defense schools to assess proficiency in math and reading. States’ average scale scores are reported overall and by sub-group, including by students living in poverty (economically disadvantaged) and students not living in poverty.

**Mississippi’s overall scale score rankings are 47th for 4th-grade math, 48th for 4th-grade reading, 49th for 8th-grade math, 51st for 8th-grade reading.