TUPELO • Results varied from test to test, but Lee County Schools saw overall improvement in scores from the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) according to results released by the state last week.
The English Language Arts and math standings show positive advances toward proficiency for Lee County students from third grade through high school English II and Algebra I courses.
Five levels make up the MAAP requirements, with students scoring at levels four and five considered proficient or advanced. The state’s plan for improving student achievement calls for at least 70 percent of all students to be proficient in ELA and mathematics by 2025.
For Lee County’s levels four and five, those numbers show definite ebb and flow.
Third grade ELA assessment saw a decrease of 4.2 percent in level four from last year, but also a 4.2 percent increase for level five among the 545 county students who took the test.
In fourth grade ELA, level five remained the same with 11.6 percent of students ranking proficient, but took a dip 0.4 percent in level four from the 2017-18 school year.
LCS superintendent Jimmy Weeks said these are two areas where the district would like to focus most moving forward.
“There are certain things that we feel good about in Lee County and there are some things we don’t feel so good about,” said Weeks. “We’ve shown improvement in most every area and almost every grade. However, we’ve got those couple of areas where we didn’t perform well.”
Weeks anticipates a grade letter improvement for the district this school year once results are delivered by the Mississippi Department of Education.
“We have grown and we are proud of that,” Weeks said.
Weeks said that scores for students learning English as a second language also improved, which is a big plus for the district.
“Like always, there’s room for improvement and we’re going to examine those areas closely and improve the best we can,” he said.
Level five Algebra II test scores also increased for the district, up 1.7 percent from the previous school year. English II also saw an increase for county high school students, rising 2.7 percent for level four proficiency and 1.4 percent in level five.
LCS district test coordinator Debbie Jones said that like any one-time assessment, there are some weak areas to acknowledge but that they don’t overshadow the considerable growth accomplished.
“The scores that we received show very positive gains, especially in our math area,” Jones said. “We’re very pleased and, overall, this is something to applaud.”