By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The Lee County School District saw its test scores remain relatively flat last year.
Third- to eighth-grade students in the district took standardized tests in math and language arts last spring, while high school students took examinations in algebra I, English II, U.S. history and biology. The Mississippi Department of Education released results of those tests today.
Students on each test can score, from lowest to highest, minimal, basic, proficient and advanced. The percentage of Lee County students scoring in the two highest categories improved on six of the 12 elementary and middle-school tests and declined on the other six.
Many of the gains and dips were within three percentage points of where students scored the year before. The largest decline was fifth-grade math, which fell by 5.1 percentage points. Fifty-seven percent of students scored at least proficient this year.
Lee County had large gains on both seventh grade tests, with language rising 11.7 percentage points to 60.3 percent and math bumping up 9.7 percentage points to 70.3.
“I saw strength in language, and various grades did well,” said Lee County testing coordinator Debbie Jones. “In math, we saw some weaknesses in fifth grade we need to work on.”
Jones also cited the district’s scores in algebra, in which 90 percent of the students passed. All of the students who took the algebra test at Guntown and Mooreville Middle School passed.
Meanwhile, the district must improve in biology and English-II, Jones said.
Superintendent Jimmy Weeks, who took office in January, said he is eager to see how the scores do this year, his first full school year in the position.
“I’m not just pleased, I’m very pleased,” Weeks said of the scores. “I’m sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happens next year.”
The percentage of Shannon High School students scoring at least proficient in English fell from 49.2 percent to 32.4 percent. Mooreville had 62.9 percent of its students score proficient in English, after only 22.6 percent did so last year.
Double-digit school level gains also include Mooreville Elementary third-grade language, Shannon Elementary fifth-grade language, Plantersville Middle fifth-grade math, Guntown seventh-grade language, Mooreville Middle seventh-grade language and Shannon Middle seventh-grade math.
Double-digit declines include Shannon Elementary third-grade language and third-grade math, Verona Elementary third-grade language and Shannon Middle eighth-grade language.
Test score charts in today’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.