Results from the Mississippi Curriculum Test 2 in language arts and math were announced today, prompting school leaders and parents across the state to peruse the rankings to see who their elementary school or school district performed.
For years, the state had given tests to measure growth, but two years ago state officials made the test more difficult, requiring students to apply their knowledge, not just memorize facts. Last year’s results were used as a baseline, and this year’s scores show how students’ knowledge has grown. Based on their scores, students are assigned proficiency levels — minimal, basic, proficient and advanced.
So how did Biloxi schools perform? Here’s the word.
From Dr. Janice Wilson, director of Curriculum and Grants, on elementary school performance:
”The results from MCT2 are evidence of our commitment to student achievement. The MCT2 is a criterion-referenced assessment given in reading/language arts and mathematics. These assessments allow Mississippi to be in compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind initiative.
”The results will also provide information that will be used to help improve instruction and accelerate student achievement.
“We are pleased with the progress that we are making. We see consistent movement of students to the proficient and advanced levels, which is a major component of the NCLB. Our students surpassed state proficient and advanced levels for Language Arts and Mathematics in grades 3rd through 7th. We were marginally below state proficient and advanced levels in Mathematics in 8th grade and will focus our efforts to improve that area.
“We must now give our attention to the 2009-2010 school year and ensure that we improve on the areas highlighted in the 2008-2009 tests. Specifically, we must focus on our special education population and our limited English proficiency students. We will continue to communicate and foster high expectations that will yield an environment conducive to student success.“
From Dr. Karen Norwood, director of Secondary Education and Federal Programs:
"We are very proud of the hard work from our teachers and students in the areas of Subject Area Testing. Successfully passing all the Subject Area Tests -- which are Algebra I, Biology I, U.S. History, and English II -- is a requirement for graduation for all students in Mississippi.
"The goal is to have students scoring Proficient or Above on these tests, and Biloxi students far exceeded the state's average in the Proficient and Advanced categories. Some specific areas that we're especially proud of are 9th grade Biology I scores, which exceeded the state's average by 51 percent. Ninth grade Algebra I scores exceeded the state's average by 21 percent. Those are exceptional.
"We also have some areas that we need to focus on, specifically proficiency for our special education population and our students who do not speak English as their primary language. We also have to continue to push the high expectations even further to continue to meet the new accountability system, which is a three-year ladder that increases considerably each year.
”So, even though we are very pleased with test scores, we will still be continuing to increase rigor and push expectations for our students to meet accountability standards and be prepared to compete with students globally in college and in the work force.“
Online scores: You can find a button linking you to state test scores on the front page of the school district web site. To go to the district site, click on the district logo at the top left of this Windtalker.
Football site: The Biloxi Touchdown Club has created a new online presence for Indians football. You'll find varsity and junior varsity schedules, team photos, and more. To visit the site, click on the Football button on the front page of the district web site.