Region test scores

Area schools do well

on state curriculum test

Twelve districts score higher than the state average in every subject and every grade.

By Holly Wright

Daily Journal

School districts in Northeast Mississippi scored higher than the state average in most areas on the 2002 Mississippi Curriculum Test (MCT).

The MCT is a criterion-referenced test that measures how well students are learning the state curriculum. It does not compare students on a national level.

MCT is considered one of the major pieces of the new state testing and accountability system and does meet standards set by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Scores of the MCT are analyzed by both the mean score and number of students in each of the four proficiency levels, minimal, basic, proficient and advanced.

The goal of the Mississippi Department of Education is for all students to become proficient or higher.

Students in grades 2-8 are tested in reading, language and math, and are given a mean score and divided into proficiency levels for each subject in each grade.

Twelve districts scored higher than average in all subjects for all grade levels. They were Amory, Corinth, Monroe County, New Albany, North Tippah, Oxford, Pontotoc City, Pontotoc County, Prentiss County, Tishomingo County, Tupelo and Union County.

Only four districts, Holly Springs, Marshall County, Okolona and West Point, had mean scores which were lower than the state average in all subject areas for all grades.

Mixed result

Most district saw mixed results, with eight having more higher than state average mean scores than lower, and five scoring lower than the state average in most areas rather than higher.

Tishomingo County had the highest mean scores in seven different areas for Northeast Mississippi, followed by Pontotoc County with the highest mean score in five areas.

“I appreciate the hard work the teachers and principals do,” said Jerry Horton, superintendent of Pontotoc County Schools. “The entire community realizes that test are important and that it is important for our schools to do well.”

Okolona and Holly Springs had the highest number of mean scores which were the lowest for the region.

Interesting numbers

One school district which saw an interesting phenomenon occur is Chickasaw County.

The district had the highest mean scores for Northeast Mississippi in second- and third-grade reading and had higher than state average mean scores for those grades in language and math, as well as high scores in fourth-grade math, but had lower than state average scores for every other subject and grade.