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Mississippi: reading test almost at pre-pandemic pass rate

May 26, 2022 GMT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A preliminary snapshot of 3rd graders’ literacy proficiency in Mississippi shows a passing rate nearly the same as before the COVID-19 pandemic, the state education superintendent said Thursday.

“The hard work of teachers, students and parents to overcome academic setbacks caused by the pandemic is paying off. ... I celebrate this accomplishment and acknowledge there’s more work to be done,” Carey Wright said in a news release.

The statement said 73.9% of 31,068 students passed the test for the 2021-22 school year. That’s compared to 74.5% in 2019, the last normal school year, when 34,998 students took the initial test.

State law requires Mississippi 3rd graders to pass a reading assessment to qualify for promotion to the 4th grade.

Third-grade students who do not pass at first can get two more tries. After the final retest in 2019, 85.16% of 3rd graders passed. Students did not test in 2020 because of the pandemic. The test was given in 2021, but the passing requirement was waived so no retests were administered, the Mississippi Department of Education said in a news release.

Students who did not pass the reading assessment on their first attempt last month were retested May 9-13. The second retest window is June 20 – July 8. Some students may qualify for good cause exemptions to be promoted to 4th grade.