Thursday, May 25, 2017

Third-grade reading-gate results: The kids are readin'.

More and  more Mississippi third-graders are learning how to read.  The little tots showed tremendous improvement on the third-grade reading-gate tests this year.  The Mississippi Department of Education press release mildly states that the passing rates improved from 85% in 2015 to 87% in 2016 to 92% this year.  However, the real story is in the weeds.  The number of schools that saw over a third of their students fail the test went from 47 in 2015 to 0 this year.  It appears that after a rough first year, the students, teachers, and parents buckled down and got to work on learning how to read. 

The failure rates fell as shown below.

40% or more fail  2017

40% or more fail 2016
Geo H. Oliver Visual/Perf. Arts: 50% (Clarksdale)
Webb Elementary: 48% (Greenville)
Goodman Pickens: 39.7% (Close enough. Holmes County)
William Dean: 42% (Holmes County)
Finch Elementary: 44.4% (Wilkinson County)
Durant Public School 44% (Durant)

>40% fail 2015
 Boyd ( Greenville ): 42%  /B, B
Trigg ( Greenville ): 41% /B, D
Webb ( Greenville ): 53% /F, F
WC Williams ( Greenwood): 47%  /C, F
Goodman Pickens (Holmes CSD ): 59% /C, F
William Dean (Holmes CSD ): 46%
Williams-Sullivan (Holmes CSD ): 52% /D,D
Dawson (JPS): 48%  /C, C
 Raines (JPS): 47% /F,F
Sykes (JPS): 48% /C,D
Woodville (JPS): 40% /F,F
Finch (Wilkinson CSD):45%
Wilkinson County (Wilkinson CSD): 42% /B,B
McCoy (Yazoo City MSD): 47% /D,D

13 to 6 to 0.  That's improvement.

33% or more students fail 2017

>33% fail the test 2016
Booker T. Washington 37% (Clarksdale)
Myrtle Hall IV Lang.: 38.8% (Clarksdale)
Friar's Point: 33.3% (Coahoma)
Arkin: 34% (Greenville)
Trigg: 34.2% (Greenville)
 Lee: 33.3% (JPS)
Sykes: 37.7% (JPS)
Timberlawn: 34.9% (JPS)
Watkins: 34.9% (JPS)
Byhalia: 33.6% (Marshall County)
Summit: 39.1% (McComb)
Parkview: 38.1% (Meridian)
Tunica: 38.7% (Tunica County)
Robinsonville: 35.1% (Tunica County)
McEvans: 34.2% (West Bolivar)
Ray Brooks: 38.5% (West Bolivar)
Hazelhurst: 37.4% (Hazelhurst)

34 schools had failing rates of more than 33% in 2015.  34 to 17 to 0.  Improvement. 

The worst schools had failing rates that were in the 20's in 2017: 
 Long Creek Attendance (Attala): 22% (41 students.  Not hard to skew.)
Stem (Greenville): 25%
Threadgill (Greenwood): 22%
Hazlehurst: 25%
O M McNair Upper (Humphreys): 20%
Smith (JPS): 22%
Timberlawn (JPS): 24%
Wilkins (JPS): 20%
 Jefferson County: 21%
 Leland: 21%
Parkview (Meridian): 21%
Montgomery County: 25%
Joseph Frazier (Natchez-Adams): 22%

The worst schools had failing rates below 30% and there were only 13 of those.  There were 132 schools in 2015 that had failure rates of more than 20%.  132 to 13.  Think about that one for a minute.  That is huge improvement and will pay dividends in the future.

However, the third-graders had to pass only at a level 2.  They will have to pass at level three next year to move on to the fourth grade. 

MDE issued this press release last week:

School- and district-level passing rates for the first administration of the 3rd Grade Reading Assessment are now available to the public. Passing rates can be found here

Statewide, 92 percent of 3rd graders passed the test. The initial pass rates for the previous two school years was 85 percent in 2014-15 and 87 percent in 2015-16. 

The Literacy-Based Promotion Act requires 3rd graders to pass a reading assessment to demonstrate they are ready for 4th grade reading instruction. Students are provided with three opportunities to pass the test.

This school year, the reading portion of the Mississippi Assessment Program (MAP) English Language Arts (ELA) was used to determine 3rd grade promotion. In the previous two school years, a reading test developed by Renaissance Learning was used as the initial test and for both retest opportunities. That test is now the alternative assessment for students who did not pass the reading test on their first try. Both tests assess the Mississippi College and Career Ready Standards of reading for foundational skills, informational text, literature, and language. 

Students who did not pass the first reading test are being retested this week. The final retest opportunity will take place between June 26 and August 4, 2017.

Literacy Support Schools, which had literacy coaches assigned to them to provide support and training to teachers, had a pass rate of 87.5 percent this year, up from 78 percent in 2016 and 73 percent in 2015.  Mississippi’s Literacy-Based Promotion Act requires that a student scoring at the lowest achievement level on the 3rd Grade Reading Assessment be retained in 3rd grade, unless the student meets the good cause exemptions specified in the law. Local school districts determine which of their students who did not pass qualify for one of the good cause exemptions for promotion to 4th grade.

The Literacy-Based Promotion Act was amended in 2016 and will require students starting in the 2018-19 school year to score above the lowest two achievement levels in order to be promoted to the 4th grade.
For information about summer reading programs, contact local school districts. For more information about the Literacy-Based Promotion Act, visit

 Kingfish note: Look who voted against this bill.  Will any of them apologize for their votes and admit he or she was wrong? 

Senate: Nays--Bailey, Banks, Burnett, Calhoun, Clarke, Dickson, Evans (70th), Hines, Holland, Horne, Huddleston (30th), Johnson, Nelson, Perkins, Smith (27th), Thomas.

House: -Bailey, Banks, Burnett, Calhoun, Clarke, Dickson, Evans (70th), Hines, Holland, Horne, Huddleston (30th), Johnson, Nelson, Perkins, Smith (27th), Thomas.

Then there was this press release issued by Bobby Moak in 2015. This was probably the one time Moak should've eaten something instead of talking.


JACKSON – Democratic House leader Rep. Bobby Moak (D-Bogue Chitto) released the following statement about the Clarion Ledger’s Sunday story on the third grade reading gate calamity created by Republicans:

“This is the disastrous result of the Republican education plan that chronically underfunds our schools and then asks even more of our children. Several schools highlighted saw a majority -- over half -- of students in the third grade held back. Teachers and administrators are having to scramble to address this horrible mess – frequently by taking money out of their own pocket. The Republican Leadership has failed to fund education so that schools cannot hire reading interventionist and they refuse to pass Pre-K, which is vital for children reading by the third grade. Mississippi is the only state in the southern region that does not have full Pre-K.

Mississippi’s Republican political leaders have failed our schools and our state. They have repeatedly made one thing abundantly clear: you can be a Republican in Mississippi or you can support education, but you can't do both.”


Anonymous said...

Why they need to read? They all gonna be rappers.

Wow said...

Good job MDE and good job public policy driving the focus. We need to increase the 3rd grate standard like planned for next year, and we also need to add another gate after 7th or 8th grade.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure the charter schools are responsible for this success.

Anonymous said...

No, 11:54, this has nothing to do with charter schools. But thanks for the stupid, sarcastic response. If you were able to read, you would have seen this had to do with the "3rd grade reading gate", another reform measure separate and distinct from charter schools. Here is a reform measure that actually worked and improved results, but you still have to find something negative to say. Gees. It's people like you that will never be satisfied, or rather maybe you're satisfied with the same status quo of failing schools and uneducated children. As an example, maybe you read about the Washington kid who was recently arrested in connection with the murder of Kingston Frazier and who is 17 years old but yet his lawyer said he was unable to read or write. I guess that's ok with you, huh ? Keep passing them through even though they can't read or write. Yeah, that does wonders for their future.

Anonymous said...

Funny how, with the same level of funding, they actually worked harder and got better results.

Kingfish said...

Do you think the R's will tout this news? Nope. Can't get out of their own way.

Anonymous said...

I agree, KF. Sadly, they probably won't tout this very good news Unfortunately, they have a few members, like Karl Oliver, who keep saying or doing stupid stuff that gets all the attention and distracts attention from any positive progress being made.

I also wonder if the JFP or MS Today will applaud this success/improvement but don't hold out much hope. The R's could improve our economy, education, etc 10-fold, and the JFP would still say they all suck and aren't doing enough.

Anonymous said...

They shouldn't tout it because it's a temporary fix by 7th they will not be able to do math or comprehend the words they pronounced. Only when you see ACT scores rising will you be able to say that Mississippi has been fair to it future.

Anonymous said...

They're all better off than D'Allen Washington, who is 17-years-old and illiterate.

Anonymous said...

1:39PM don’t forget to add D’Allen Washington was a student at Northwest Rankin.

Anonymous said...

The students only have to answer 14 out of 49 questions correctly to pass the test. That's only 29% correct; however, this is the baseline assessment and the required passing score will increase over the years.

Anonymous said...

Some people are so easily fooled by the juggling of statistics. Who really thinks teachers got better at teaching? Who really believes students buckled down? Who thinks parents got involved? Who believes administrators changed the paradigm? Who believes methodology changed? Nothing changed but the stats. Figure it out.

Oh, wait....we can divert this to a discussion of Republicans, as Kingfish so artfully suggests.

"I got eight kids. Trust me. My son don't need to read!"

Anonymous said...

"Good job MDE."


Anonymous said...

Actually D'Allen only came to NWR in January...

Anonymous said...

@12:56 - you mean the "illiterate" 17 y/o who has an active social media (including Facebook) presence?

Anonymous said...

"Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?" -Dubya

Anonymous said...

These stats are too good to be true.

Anonymous said...

If it sounds too good to be true....

Anonymous said...

How odd is it that Kingfish celebrates these cooked figures while suggesting Republicans will have something negative to say. Has he floated over to the Donna Ladd table at Babalu?

Anonymous said...

May 25, 2017 at 8:34 PM = Inane comment

Happy 10 Years King !!!

Anonymous said...

@12:57 not true. Millions have been allocated by the Governor the last several years for Reading Gate.

Anonymous said...

Happy tenth indeed. Kingfish has now figured out the way to drum up bidness is to incite the masses. Ladd learned it from the Clarion and Kingfish has seen the light too.

So, let's kick some Republicans know, those who won't celebrate this as minority success. If you can't create a race issue with the story, at least lets make it a republican vs democrat issue.

Anonymous said...

He's also figured out @6:05 how to feed the intellectually weak such as yourself.

Kingfish said...

Some of you really can't stand good news. A true case of Mississippian's Stockholm Syndrome- where you are so embedded in the Mississippi is dead last meme that you can't mentally happen good news when it happens.

Anonymous said...

I can "mentally happen good news". Tell me how to recognize it and thank you for posting again at 6:51 Kingfish. You always react when somebody calls you out.

Anonymous said...

The reason you won't find sensible people becoming cheerleaders for this is because they realize its nothing more than bogus book-cooking. Not much different from the formulas that consider 'number attending school per day'.

Did someone post that in order to pass, one must only answer 14 out of 49 questions correctly? When I was in school, if I made a 29 on a test I damned sure didn't get a passing grade or a trophy for 'most improved'.

Anonymous said...

I certainly don't celebrate being last in all these categories. But neither will I celebrate it when you piss on my leg and tell me its raining. Don't expect me jump up and down when you claim we're moving in an upward direction when we are not.

Anonymous said...

"Good job MDE and good job public policy driving the focus."

Please tell me what the hell that means.

"Driving the focus" is straight off the flip chart of an MDE consultant. Totally meaningless.

Wow said...

It means that a law (public policy) was put in place to provide a very real consequence for students (and accountability to educators) who did not meet a minimum standard of literacy.

This pushed schools to focus on meeting that standard.

Now go take a lap and cool off. Maybe sign up for a public policy 101 class.

Anonymous said...

I believe this is really good news. When someone can read then they stand a chance of being educated which will raise many future good stats and lower many bad ones. Think of all the lives that can possibly be different with this move.

Gov. Bryant made this part of his first platform and I say "Great" it will pay off and so many ways. Let us rejoice instead of criticize. If it is untrue, it will show up in several other stats.

Anonymous said...

@12:52 - so, in English, what you meant to say was the law produced desired results. Just say that instead of trying to sound overly-educated using trendy policy wonk gibberish.

Anonymous said...

I'm a nationally board certified public school teacher in one of the top schools in the state, and I can tell you that this test is a very good thing. It forces principals and districts to put their very strongest reading teachers in grades K-3, and it keeps more kids from moving into the later elementary grades (when Reading instruction becomes more about analysis and less about decoding) who aren't ready. The test is meant to provide a baseline--the cut score is what ANY third grader (regardless of variables like IQ) should be able to do at the end of the year. It is not designed to be scored on a 100 pt. scale...some questions are much harder than others, and as such, are weighted more heavily. It is a screener. It is meant to catch a kid who might otherwise fall through the cracks. It blows my mind how people who haven't been inside a classroom in years think they can comment with any intellectual acumen on any of these tests. I'm sure I'll get crushed for this post, but I honestly don't care.

Anonymous said...

Thank you 5:25 pm for your comment.
I had a child with a very high IQ but who had one substitute teacher after another in the 3rd grade at a highly rated private school. Every parent of a child in that class realized by the 4th grade how key the 3rd grade is as we watched our very bright children fall behind . Fortunately, we could afford tutors, but it took until the 7th grade to fully catch them up.
On a personal level, I changed schools in the 5th grade and those two schools reversed the curriculum so I had a repeat of first semester instruction and missed the second semester. It was my 7th grade teacher that caught the problem and fixed it easily with afternoon tutoring after school.
Few people realize what critical basics of the " 3 R's" are taught in K-3 and if a child doesn't learn those basics, they are behind the curve going forward.
The bottom line is that a child can't know what they aren't taught. And, we see from some of the comments, they can grow into adults that don't know what they don't know!

Anonymous said...

"I'm a nationally board certified public school teacher in one of the top schools in the state.."

Well, whoop de doo! I'm sure there's a fallacy there. "Appeal To Authority", maybe?

I went as far as tenth grade at Benoit and am all for 'catching kids who might fall through the cracks'. But, even with your national board certificate, don't hold your breath thinking these kids who can't read will be held back until they learn that discipline.

Every organization from 100 Black Men to Catholic Charities to The ACLU to Southern Poverty Law Center will be all over any district that does not simply pass them on to the next grade. Anybody with walking-around sense knows the demographics of failure and we all know what that means in terms of imaginary disparate treatment.

You no-doubt thought common core and no-child left-behind were grand programs as well, what with all that board certified stuff in your book satchel.

Really Concerned Parent said...

I have a child with a really high I.Q. who was neglected because the teachers were always taking off and the subs were just regular people. The teachers at our private school didn't really need to work. That's why they took these jobs that pay nothing. They spent their time on the tennis courts and shopping at Renaissance and took off at the drop of a hat since they didn't need the pay.

Once I found this out, I tried to complain to the principal only to learn that she had taken off too and was on a cruise right there in the middle of second semester. She doesn't need to work either.

The only reason we came here is because I heard Bo Bounds on a commercial saying we really needed to call the school for a tour. Well, I called. They had us come for a meal so they could observe us. The hamburger steak was decent but the peas were ungodly cold and we were at the head of the line. You'd think we would have gotten warm peas.

Our neighbors are all enrolled in private schools and at Bunko we often argue about which school offers the best outcomes, especially in the area of scholarships to Ole Miss. I would say more but my tennis lesson is in 5 minutes. Thanks.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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