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State Snaps a Picture of Public Schools

By Annie Gilbertson | Published 22 Jul 2011 04:54pm | comments
Katherine and Kayla, third-graders at Spann Elementary School, reading Angelina Ballerina.

State test scores for last school year are out, and officials are crunching the data. These scores are thought to give a snapshot of how schools are performing. MPB's education reporter, Annie Gilbertson, gives us a rundown of this year’s numbers.

Experts say its important for young students to latch on to reading at an early age, because by third grade, trouble with reading can lead to trouble with other subjects and challenges down the road. Jennifer Baker is a fourth grade teacher.

Baker: “I feel it’s important for the third graders to be able to read, because by the time they get to us, especially with the MCT tests coming up, if you’re not going to be able to do math, science and social studies.”

Baker's talking about the importance of reading on the Mississippi Curriculum Test, MCT.  Luckily, Spann Elementary third graders promoting to her fourth grade class are testing higher in language arts than previous years.  It's true for the rest of the state too.

Statewide, all grades scored better in language arts, except fifth, which dipped less than a percentage point.  Fifth graders also saw a drop in their scores in math as did fourth and sixth in comparison to last year.

Only grades three through eight are administered the Mississippi State Curriculum Test.  The test will be changing in the next couple of years to reflect newly adapted Common Core requirements.

Menotti: “Test scores come and go, testing programs come and go, but my goal is to educate the best child I can.”

That's Spann Elementary Principal Nicole Menotti. She likes to remind parents that many teachers aim to teach to an individual child's needs, not a test. Menotti thinks her students are performing better due to an introduction of a summer program, new disciplinary procedures, and a greater emphasis individualized reading instruction.

From the Southern Education Desk, for MPB News, I'm Annie Gilbertson.



Katherine and Kayla, third-graders at Spann Elementary School, reading Angelina Ballerina.



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