76.3% of third graders pass state reading assessment on first attempt

Published 4:21 pm Friday, May 19, 2023

by the Mississippi Department of Education


JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) is announcing that 76.3% of 31,623 third graders passed the initial administration of the third-grade reading assessment given this spring for the 2022-23 school year.

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The percentage exceeds the 2021-22 initial rate of 73.9% as well as the 2018-19 initial rate of 74.5% before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I applaud the teachers, administrators, literacy coaches and families who worked to support students in achieving this goal. The work will continue until all students are proficient and showing growth,” said Mike Kent, interim state superintendent of education.

In accordance with the Literacy-Based Promotion Act (LBPA), third graders who do not pass the initial administration of the reading test are given up to two attempts to retest. After the final retest in 2021-22, 85% of third graders passed the test. After the final retest in 2019, 85.6% of third graders passed the test. Students did not test in 2020 due to the pandemic. The test was given in 2021, but the passing requirement was waived so no retests were administered.

The LBPA became law in 2013 to improve reading skills of kindergarten through third-grade students in public schools so every student completing the third grade is able to read at or above grade level. The LBPA requires Mississippi third graders to pass a reading assessment to qualify for promotion to fourth grade. An amendment to the law in 2016 raised reading-level expectations starting in the 2018-19 school year, requiring third graders to score at level three or higher on the reading portion of the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) English Language Arts (ELA) assessment.

Students who did not pass the reading assessment on their first attempt last month were retested May 8-12. The second retest window is June 19 – 30. Some students may qualify for good cause exemptions to be promoted to fourth grade.

To see the district- and school-level initial pass rate report for 2022-23, go to mdek12.org/OPR/Reporting/Assessment/2022-23.

Final district-level pass rates will be published this fall in the Literacy-Based Promotion Act Annual Report of Performance and Student Retention for the 2022-23 school year.

Find all MDE news releases at mdek12.org/news.