JACKSON — The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) released the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Update for the 2021-22 school year, which showed the majority of pre-K and kindergarten students made gains over the course of the school year but fell short of pre-pandemic achievement levels.
Pre-K and kindergarteners take a Kindergarten Readiness Assessment in the fall and spring of each school year. In fall 2021, 31.8 percent of students scored kindergarten ready. When kindergarteners were retested in the spring 2022, 57.7 percent of students met the end-of-year target score. Though most students showed progress, the overall percentage of students meeting the target score decreased from 65.6 percent in spring 2019, when kindergarteners were last tested.
“Despite the learning disruptions caused by COVID-19, Mississippi kindergarteners still showed significant growth during the 2021-22 school year thanks to the hard work and dedication of their teachers to accelerate learning,” said Dr. Kim Benton, interim state superintendent of education. “Teachers will be able to use these results to inform instruction in the early grades. Schools may also implement tutorial services and extended learning services this fall.”
For pre-K students in MDE’s Early Learning Collaboratives, 65.1 percent met the end-of-year target score in spring 2022, compared to 76.9 percent in spring 2019. For pre-K students in other public pre-K programs, 61.5 percent met the target score in spring 2022, compared to 69.3 percent in spring 2019.
The MDE has outlined specific guidance for school districts on ways to improve outcomes. At the agency level, the MDE will implement various strategies such as Science of Reading and Regional Literacy Trainings statewide for paraprofessionals and K-5 teachers, offer intervention coaching to kindergarten and first-grade teachers, and provide professional development on Kindergarten Readiness reports to inform targeted small group instruction.
The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment provides parents, teachers, and early childhood providers with a common understanding of what children know and are able to do upon entering school. Teachers use the results as an instructional baseline to tailor classroom instruction and other services for pre-K and kindergarten students. The assessment also measures how well pre-K programs prepare 4-year-old children to be ready for kindergarten.
View the assessment results at https://www.mdek12.org/OPR/Reporting/Assessment/2021-22.
You can help your community
Quality, in-depth journalism is essential to a healthy community. The Dispatch brings you the most complete reporting and insightful commentary in the Golden Triangle, but we need your help to continue our efforts. Please consider subscribing to our website for only $2.30 per week to help support local journalism and our community.