State releases MAP test results

From Press & Staff Reports

The Mississippi Department of Education has released results from the Mississippi Assessment Program, a statewide assessment created in collaboration with Mississippi teachers.

MAP, which assesses student performance in English language arts and mathematics in grades 3-8, English II and Algebra I, measures students’ progress toward higher academic goals that equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in jobs and college.

Overall, students’ test scores in most school districts remained stable or improved from 2014-15 to 2015-16 as they transitioned from previous assessments to MAP assessments. Statewide, the percentage of students scoring in Level 1 — the lowest achievement level — dropped in mathematics and ELA while the students scoring in Level 5 — the advanced level — increased when comparing MAP results to test results from the 2014-15 school year.

Mississippi students took the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test in the 2014-15 school year. Mississippi is no longer a member of PARCC, and as a result, the state developed its own assessments for the 2015-16 school year. MAP and PARCC are comparable in rigor and difficulty and measured the same standards.

The MAP results, released Thursday, showed these results overall in mathematics:

31.1 percent of all tested students scored Level 4 or higher.
15 districts had greater than 45 percent of all students scoring Level 4 or higher

Overall 66.2 percent of students scored at Level 3 or higher.
Only 7.2 percent of all tested students scored Level 1.

32.6 percent of all tested students scored Level 4 or higher.
14 districts had greater than 45 percent of all students scoring Level 4 or higher

Overall 66 percent of students scored at Level 3 or higher.
Only 11.4 percent of all tested students scored Level 1.

“Teachers are focusing on instruction that meets the standards, and we’re seeing the results,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “I am proud of the hard work happening in classrooms across the state as teachers and administrators work to prepare students with the skills and knowledge they need for successful futures. The results identify where students are doing well and where they need additional support in order to meet grade-level expectations.”

The results of the MAP assessments are closer to the results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. MAP 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.

District results
for Level 4, 5

Students scoring at Level 4 or 5, the top two performance 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. Level 4 is at the proficient level and Level 5 is at an advanced level.

Districtwide, this is the percentage of students in the Webster County School District scoring Level 4 or higher on the respective tests:

Grade 3 ELA: 39 percent
Grade 3 Math: 47 percent
Grade 4 ELA: 38 percent
Grade 4 Math: 43 percent
Grade 5 ELA: 39 percent
Grade 5 Math: 38 percent
Grade 6 ELA: 32 percent
Grade 6 Math: 38 percent
Grade 7 ELA: 28 percent
Grade 7 Math: 40 percent
Grade 8 ELA: 35 percent
Grade 8 Math: 43 percent
Algebra I: 35 percent
English II: 44 percent

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.

“We have a lot of students in Level 3, approaching proficiency, in both math and ELA. That tells me that we have room for growth and with additional supports for teachers and students. With additional supports, I believe we will see more students reach proficiency,” Wright said.

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.
Mississippi assessments now require students to reach a higher bar than on former state tests. As with any change in standards and assessments, there is a period of transition as students adjust to higher expectations.