Education

Coast students aren’t ready for kindergarten, latest results show

Martin Bluff Elementary School kindergarten teacher Shaun Mims helps her students with flash cards at the Gautier school in September 2013.
Martin Bluff Elementary School kindergarten teacher Shaun Mims helps her students with flash cards at the Gautier school in September 2013. Sun Herald file

Only three Mississippi Gulf Coast elementary schools received passing scores in the 2017 Kindergarten Readiness Assessment.

The Mississippi Department of Education released the results Thursday, and not one of the school districts on the Mississippi Gulf Coast received passing scores.

For the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, 530 is considered passing. The state average was 503, with 63.09 percent of test takers scoring below 530.

“Seventy percent mastery of knowledge and skills in early literacy and numeracy at the beginning of kindergarten was selected as the level of mastery for the kindergarten readiness benchmark,” read the release from MDE. “The minimum beginning-of-year kindergarten scale score associated with 70% mastery is 530.”

The three Gulf Coast schools to receive passing scores were North Bay Elementary School with a 546, Agricola Elementary School with a 531 and East Hancock Elementary School with a 534.

Below are the results for Gulf Coast school districts:

▪ Bay St. Louis-Waveland Schools: 494 with 127 test takers

▪ Biloxi Public Schools : 519 with 451 test takers

▪ George County Schools: 501 with 343 test takers

▪ Gulfport School District: 470 with 574 test takers

▪ Hancock County Schools: 498 with 329 test takers

▪ Harrison County Schools: 481 with 1,141 test takers

▪ Jackson County Schools: 508 with 591 test takers

▪ Long Beach School District: 505 with 226 test takers

▪ Moss Point School District: 459 with 126 test takers

▪ Ocean Springs School District: 507 with 388 test takers

▪ Pascagoula-Gautier School District: 503 with 484 test takers

▪ Pass Christian Public Schools: 493 with 123 test takers

▪ Pearl River County Schools: 503 with 247

▪ Picayune School District: 513 with 238 test takers

▪ Poplarville School District: 476 with 167 test takers

▪ Stone County Schools: 477 with 182 test takers

The primary purpose of the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment is to improve the quality of classroom instruction and other services provided to students from birth to third grade.

Mississippi started testing incoming kindergarteners at the start of the school year in 2014. Though the test continues to show the majority of kindergarteners start school unprepared, students are showing incremental improvements.

Statewide, the percentage of students scoring kindergarten-ready has increased from 34.6 percent in 2014 to 36.9 percent in 2017.

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