Mississippi Rises to 30th in National Education Rankings

Published 9:26 am Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Mississippi has achieved its highest-ever ranking in education, moving to 30th in the nation, according to the 2024 Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT® Data Book released. This marks a significant improvement from previous years, with the state ranked 32nd in 2023 and 39th in 2022. In 2014, Mississippi was ranked 48th.

The KIDS COUNT® Data Book is an annual report that evaluates recent household data across all 50 states, focusing on how children and families are faring. It presents data from 16 indicators within four domains: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community factors, and ranks the states accordingly. Despite Mississippi’s rise in education, the state ranks 49th in overall child well-being but has shown progress in half of the 16 indicators.

The 2024 report highlights national student math and reading proficiency declines, primarily attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. KIDS COUNT® measures education through indicators such as pre-K enrollment, 4th-grade reading skills, 8th-grade math proficiency, and high school graduation rates.

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“Mississippi’s momentum in education is the result of strong policies and dedicated, effective educators,” said Dr. Raymond Morgigno, interim state superintendent of education. “The progress of our students has made the state a national leader in improving academic outcomes. While the pandemic disrupted student learning, state and federal funds helped our schools provide additional academic support to help our students exceed pre-pandemic achievement levels.”

Governor Tate Reeves also commented on the achievement. “This is another history-making moment for Mississippi,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “We have more work to do, but the fact that we’re 30th in the entire nation for education proves how much momentum we have in the classroom. Mississippi will continue doing everything possible to provide students with the tools to lead fulfilling lives and secure high-paying careers in our state. Congratulations to Mississippi’s parents, teachers, and students for making history again.”

The Children’s Foundation of Mississippi released the 2024 Mississippi KIDS COUNT Factbook, which identifies opportunities to improve children’s outcomes in the state.

“Despite the state’s overall ranking of 49, we are encouraged that Mississippi ranks 30th in education. This is Mississippi’s highest ranking in the education domain in decades,” said Linda Southward, executive director of the Children’s Foundation of Mississippi. “While there is room for improvement in specific indicators, most notably among eighth graders who are not proficient in math, we are pleased to note that the consistently increased investment in Pre-K better prepares students for kindergarten. One notable improvement is the percentage of Mississippi’s high school students not graduating on time. In 2021-22, this was 12%, compared to 15% in the previous reporting period.”