Monday, May 20, 2024

Barely Half of Jackson Third-Graders Pass Reading Test

The "reading-gate" scores are in and unfortunately, nearly half the kids in Jackson are not reading.  JPS's third-grade "reading-gate" scores plummeted to 54% this year.  You read that correctly.  Barely half of Jackson third graders can read at grade level.  The results are rather disappointing as 67% passed the test  last year.  

MDE released the reading-gate scores last week.  Posted below are the Jackson metro area scores. 

School, score, (2023)(2022)(2019)

Canton: 62% (71%)(62%)(72%)

Clinton: 88% (86%)(90%)(86%)

Hinds County: 63% (68%)(71%)(67%)

JPS: 54% (67%)(61%)(64%)

Madison County: 92% (89%)(90%)(91%)

Pearl: 91% (92%)(87%)(89%)

Rankin County: 89% (87%)(84%)(83%)

Most of the public school districts saw their scores change by two or three points.  However, Canton's scores fell from 71% to 62% while JPS nearly went off a cliff at 54%.  

The JPS picture gets much worse when one looks at individual schools and removes the magnet schools.   


78% of the kids at Lester Elementary flunked the test.  However, the school has only 38 students in the third grade.  Thus it is not hard to skew the results.  

>60% Failure: 4 schools
>50% Failure: 6 schools
>40% Failure: 9 schools
>30% Failure: 3
>20% Failure: 3

Obama and McWillie saw less than 5% of their students fail.  

Maybe it's not fair to compare JPS to other area public schools.  After all, JPS is nearly 100$% black and there are much higher levels of poverty among its students.  Fair enough.  Let's compare apples to apples.  

Hattiesburg: 79% (76%) (83% black and 8% Latino)
Greenville: 61% (65%) 97% black 

The worst Hattiesburg elementary school scored 70%, better than all but one JPS school and the two JPS magnet/special schools.  

Students failing the reading proficiency test can retake the test during the summer.  Passage is required for advancement to the fourth grade.  Thus begs the question: why did JPS so many JPS third-graders fail the test?  

Jackson Metro Area Schools

Canton: 46%
Jimmie M. Goodloe: 68%
McNeal: 69%
Reuben B. Myers: 65%

Northside: 88%

Hinds County
Bolton-Edwards: 63%
Gary Road: 64%
Raymond: 64%
Utica: 69%

JPS: See above

Madison County 
Camden: 87%
East Flora: 77%
Highland: 77%
Luther Branson: 76%
Madison Avenue Upper: >95%
Madison Crossing: 92%
Madison Station: >95%
Mannsdale: >95%

Northside: 91%

Rankin County
Florence: >95%
Flowood: 90%
Highland Bluff: 92%
McLaurin: 83%
Northshore: >95%
Northwest: 88%
Oakdale: 88%
Pelahatchie: 89%
Pisgah: 89%
Puckett: 82%
Richland Upper: 81%
Stonebridge: 84%
The Learning Center: >95%


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Just think. JPS spends more money per student than nearly any school district in the state. Plus they were out last week a day when all other Jackson charter and private schools were able to be in person. This JPS is a baby sitting service and a democrat stronghold for future dependent voters.

Anonymous said...

We are failing our kids in Jackson. Surely JPS parents can see this and demand change.

Don Drane said...

Is this supposed to be surprising? To anybody?

Read the posts on ANY of WLBT's silly Facebook poll questions. Consider the language skills of the posters. It's difficult to find ONE Jackson poster who speaks correctly or has a clue as to sentence structure and subject-verb agreement.

Call it street-talk or whatever you wish. If this is what babies, toddlers and 8 year olds grow up hearing, what the hell do we expect?

And these are the parents of the children who can't read at grade level.

Just wait until they 'learn' to write, think critically and display their comprehension.

Anonymous said...

Jo’s spends nearly as much as MRA annual tuition.

Anonymous said...

I would offer this is a reasonably good indicator the third graders were pushed through the first and second grades with poor instruction.

The best way not to get disappointed with JPS is not to expect much.

Kingfish said...

Really? I'm a Jackson poster on those pages, as you put it. You know they are from Jackson how? Because they are black?

Anonymous said...

How sad. Reading is such a basic skill and absolutely key to growing up and learning.

Anonymous said...

10:20, I was about to say, the amount that JPS spends on the students is far more than many private schools do. And, we all know the results they get versus the ones in Jackson. If it isn't the amount of money they spend, than it must be something else. Throwing money at the problem isn't working.

Don Drane said...

It's clear where most of them stay since, on that site our photos, screen names and profiles are included. Most of them clearly identify themselves as Jacksonians. Some don't. Most do. It's not really difficult.

I post on some of those myself. I've never seen a post of yours. Which name do you use, since 'anonymous' is not allowed?

They are clearly representative of the problems reflected in the data releases from MDE. You know that as well as I do. But it's typical of you to enter your 'pander-phase', as you just did.

If you support some silly notion that these grade-level indicators are NOT related to parenting and home environment, you're either lying or missing a wheel on your scooter.

Anonymous said...

A lot of the children in theJPS district are not getting early intervention for ear infections etc. I would love to see the percentage of children who failed and their history for ear infections and referrals to speech pathology. If they were screened for early language delays. Reading begins at home as well. How many of these kids have parents who are actively reading to them and with them? I imagine that percentage is low. A child needs to be read to and they need to have healthy ears to hear the sounds so they can lean to read. How many days of school have these children missed since they began? This age group was also the group that missed out on school during Covid. Zoom classes for the young was a ridiculous idea. There are a lot of factors that go into learning to read and it isn’t just teachers.

Anonymous said...

These kids were in (or not in) Pre-K 4 and K during the pandemic, which was mishandled by JPS. Their brighter classmates from more stable families have continued to find greener school pastures. That’s why they can’t read.

Anonymous said...

there's simply little hope for inner city students. I hate it, but it's reality. Far too many are in fatherless, have little accountaiblity and their role models perpetuate poor behavior. Leaders have to emerge in that community, they have to step forward and say, "we're going down the wrong path." Unfortunately, anyone who tries that will be shunned by the mainstream. Former POTUS Obama has a great platform to lead change, but he doesn't seem interested in that.

Anonymous said...

JPS administration doesn’t refer to these kids as students but rather scholars. That drives me crazy listening to local news and they say the scholars will return to school rather than students. Crazy really

Anonymous said...

Anyone wonder why there is so much teenage crime in Jackson?

Anonymous said...

Low expectations from the top and leadership determined to make the schools as comfortable as possible for teachers not difficult for students. Those teachers being influenced by the teachers unions to make as much money as possible for doing the least amount of work. Their role model is Chicago with similar results.

Anonymous said...

Forecasting the future prison population is based on 3rd Grade reading scores. This is a terrible tragedy and can be laid at the feet of the Administrators and Teachers. You cannot educate a child that will not sit down because of lack of dicipline in School! Bring back the paddle and put the fear of God in the parents who complain. Children who do not learn to read are a liability to society and it is not their fault. It is the fault of the parents and schools who should consider their future above everything else! Get un-WOKE and teach these children to read, write, and do mathmatics! Without this, we lose civilization and we all must remember they will be driving the car coming toward your child and they will vote. Educate them; we pay a fortune for you to do this!

Anonymous said...

Does Jackson still have Charter Schools? If so, which ones are they. I just remember so many fighting against these types of schools.

wise_guy said...

JPS is closing 8 of these schools. While I am sure that those decisions were more driven by population and physical plant, the average reading score for those 8 = 49.3%. The remaining schools' average = 58.1%. So, there's that.

Presumably job cuts as a result of these closures will be based upon tenure and not performance. Thus, an incompetent teacher at Lester (closing) with 10 years' tenure will keep their job and move to another school where a good teacher with 7 years' tenure will be cut. So the scores at the remaining schools are very likely to drop next year.

Looking at all the schools - the ones closing and the ones persisting - here is how the scores break out by geography:

North Jackson 65.2% (includes Obama Magnet downtown)
South Jackson 42.8%
West Jackson 55.4%

It seems a little counter-intuitive that West Jxn would be outperforming South Jxn, as the socio-economic profile in South Jxn should be a little better than that of West Jxn. Perhaps the presence of Hillcrest in South Jxn is sucking some of the better students out of the public schools and depressing those scores. Oak Forest, Sykes and Bates are all with 5 miles of Hillcrest, and they are three of the worst performers. As far as I know, there are no private school options in West Jxn, unless you send your kid to Mt Salus or CCA in Clinton.

Anonymous said...

I’m not relieving JPS of any of their responsibility but I put a lot on the parents.

Anonymous said...

Their parents can't read or write either.

Anonymous said...

McWillie and Obama are where the David Blount types get a slot for their kids so they can pretend their kids went to JPS when they virtue signal.

Anonymous said...

We all know JPS is trash but this is on parents.

I dont care how poor you are, if you are a decent parent you can and will raise decent children and the teachers can assist with the process from there.

Teachers can't teach feral kids who get zero education reinforcement at home.

Randi Weingarten said...

Anyone surprised by this just doesn’t understand the situation. JPS’s first priority is to provide as many administrators and teachers as possible with good high-paying jobs; teaching students is secondary.

Anonymous said...

You don’t think it be like it is but it do

Anonymous said...

The majority of illegals flooding across the border are also illiterate in their native language.

When I was a kid I really enjoyed Mississippi ETV shows like Reading Rainbow, Tomes & Talismans, and Mister Rodger’s Neighborhood. My experience has been that very few urban democratic types ever tuned in to Ch 29.

Anonymous said...

Also, barely half of the Jackson city council can read at a 3 rd grade level.

Kingfish said...

Hattiesburg has a much higher percentage of Spanish students and did better.

Anonymous said...

ALL kids respond to what is required. JPS does not require a functional level of literacy simple as that. Demand it and kids will respond.

Anonymous said...

Yet the City With Soul has allowed their libraries to be sold, demolished, closed, etc. Guess they weren’t needed anymore.

Anonymous said...

Attn 12:16 PM They closed the libraries because they thought it unfair to provide books that only slightly more than half of Jackson could read.

Anonymous said...

Test results prove that there is a light at the end of the tunnel in Jackson.

Anonymous said...

JPS is likely to be teaching this test and kids are still failing.

That makes me think the kids are missing out on other lessons like critical thinking.

Anonymous said...

JPS and Mississippi don’t really have teacher unions like other states.

There is a group that JPS teachers can join called Federation of Teachers or something like that. I don’t think it’s much of a thing.

This goes on the parents and higher ups in JPS. Whoever is behind the automatic grade of 50 in JPS should be arrested.

Anonymous said...

Superintendent and a couple helpers, Payroll/HR and a couple helpers, teachers, principal, an assistant principal for every couple hundred kids, bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers, some go to subs, and one or two counselors per school are all you really need. How many bogus jobs does JPS have besides those? Cut the fat.

Where did all the bond money go? How much of it went to Wingfield and other schools that are closing? How many of the legit projects came with a warranty, because I heard stuff that was “fixed” is still broken.

Anonymous said...

JPS will have to create a new spin for this as blaming it on Covid won't cut it.

Anonymous said...

Grew up quite poor but my mom took us to the public library and made it a treat for us to check out a book and read it that night.

Its a shame so many useless parents cannot be bothered.

Anonymous said...

@1:36. These kids or parents don’t know what a library is! Does Jackson have one?

Anonymous said...

These poor results suggest that bringing on the leftist/socialist Kellogg Foundation to educate Jackson's public school students isn't working.

Anonymous said...

But Dr. Greene looks so debonair in his bow ties.

Anonymous said...

Isn’t Camden mostly black? They scored very well.

Anonymous said...

Last week I couldn't even spell JPS teacher. Today I are one.

Anonymous said...

You don’t think Dr. Greene has been updating his resume do you?

Anonymous said...

These results will never be mentioned by the local news media- TV or press-
because of fear that it would be "offensive"

Anonymous said...

These results will never be aired by local TV stations or printed in local newspapers for fear of "offending" a segment of the Jackson populace.

Anonymous said...

A few million dollars should solve this problem.

Anonymous said...

It's unfortunate so many JPS students come from poor families. Working in their favor is an outpouring of community support. At the beginning of each school year, businesses & nonprofits donate large amounts of school supplies, backpacks, free haircuts & clothing, in addition to all the free meals schools provide. The kids' mothers are happy to accept the donations while on their iphones. Local TV stations fill large amounts of airtime with stories about generous community support. Being poor isn't the excuse many want us to believe.

Anonymous said...

It's time for the State to takeover JPS.

Anonymous said...

Lumumba should be able to pander to so many futures generations. This is ludicrous.

Anonymous said...

The breakdown of the family structure causes so many social problems. It is a chain reaction. PLEASE wait and have kids until BOTH parents are financially and emotionally ready to take care of them. It’s really that simple.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Phil!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that it was Deputy Feel Brant who refused to put JPS under state control. And here we are.

Anonymous said...

“ Low expectations from the top and leadership determined to make the schools as comfortable as possible for teachers not difficult for students. Those teachers being influenced by the teachers unions to make as much money as possible for doing the least amount of work. Their role model is Chicago with similar results

What teacher’s union are you referring to at JPS? We are in a right to work state, teachers cannot strike, and there is no collective bargaining here.

Try again.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind this was after state funded and mandated remediation.

Anonymous said...

When barely half of JPS third graders can't read at grade level, I assert that this evidences grade inflation on a massive scale.

Anonymous said...

I heard it mentioned the children who did not pass the reading gate cannot move onto fourth grade. Is there enough classrooms, teachers and materials for the rising third grade students plus these retained? I could wade through the muck that is MDE for the answer but I don’t have the hours for that today.

Wow said...

When I see this, I read this as, from 2016-2024, Jackson failed 50% of their students. JPS failed our city.

When I see this, I see that the next 20 years in Jackson are not going to be better than the prior 20. Sadly, these numbers can correlate to crime rates and incarceration rates.

Anonymous said...

This is a crying shame.

Anonymous said...

Hello 7:00 a.m. Right to Work and whether a union exists have zero, nada, nothing to do with each other.

But, yep, there is, effectively, no teachers' union in this state.

You can find a bag of grapes at Kroger that, collectively, calls itself a Grapes Union. That's what we have here.

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