Mississippi schools are getting better and a national report shows most schools in the state have seen improvements over the last three years but some, including many school across the Mississippi Delta, are still far behind.
Mississippi ranks 35th in the nation for K-12 achievement in 2021, climbing from 50th in 2013, according to the latest Quality Counts report published in Education Week.
The report examines achievement in school systems from prekindergarten through grade 12 and socioeconomic factors leading to success in adulthood.
Mississippi earned an overall grade of C-minus (70.8 out of 100 points), close to the nation’s overall grade of C (76.2 out of 100 points).
The report highlighted Mississippi as one of only four states that closed the achievement gap by more than four points between 2003 and 2019: Illinois (-6.9), Mississippi (-5.4), Nevada (-4.8) and Florida (-4.4).
“Student achievement has been steadily climbing in Mississippi because teachers, school leaders and families have raised expectations for what our students can accomplish,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “Other states now look to Mississippi to learn how to improve outcomes for students.”
For the past three years, Mississippi ranked No.2 for improvement among all states and the District of Columbia. From 2020 to 2021, Mississippi gained 0.3 points on the Quality Counts scale, and only four states improved their score by one point or more: Kentucky (+1.7) Washington (+1.1), District of Columbia (+1.0) and Georgia (+1.0).
Mississippi’s most improved ranking was based on the state’s gains on the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Mississippi achieved the No. 1 spot in the nation for gains on the NAEP, known as the Nation’s Report Card. NAEP measures student proficiency in 4th and 8th grade reading and mathematics. Mississippi was the only state in the nation to show significant increases in three of the four NAEP subjects. The District of Columbia was the only jurisdiction to show gains in three of four subjects.