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Eighty Percent Of DES Third Graders Pass Reading Test

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Eighty percent of third grade students at Davidson Elementary School passed the statewide reading assessment under the state’s new Literacy Based Promotion Act.

            Results of the assessment released last Friday show that 19 students out of the 95 tested at DES failed to make higher than the minimum passing score of 926. Statewide, 85 percent of those tested passed.

            Of the 19 students who failed, 13 are special education and six are regular students, according to Superintendent Kim Chrest-man. “It is my understanding that several districts did not test their Significant Cognitive Disability SPED students. We did. This would make their passing percentage higher.” 

            At presstime Tuesday the Herald learned that the four Significant Cognitive Disability SPED students did not have to be tested, which should raise the percentage of students who passed the test.

            “It is my understanding that some schools used an alternate assessment instead of the 3rd Grade Reading Gate for these students, which means that they would not be included in the state assessment,” said Chrestman.  “For WVSD it would have meant an increase of about four to five percent in our passing rate.”

            Students have two more chances to pass and school officials believe that the final result will be in the 90-plus percentage range passing.

            “We will be working to get these students remediated and hopefully they can pass,” Chrestman said and added that the final scores will be reported in August.

            Those students who do not pass will be held at the third grade level.

            Across Mississippi, almost 38,000 students took the assessment in April and only 11 of more than 420 schools had a perfect pass rate. Nearly 15 percent of third graders, or 5,612 students, fell below the minimum score.

            Passing scores from school districts in the surrounding area include 94 percent at Lafayette, 94 percent at South Panola, 92 percent at Grenada, 91 percent at Oxford, 87 percent at East Tallahatchie, 87 percent at Calhoun County (92 percent at Calhoun City, 88 percent at Bruce and 77 percent at Vardaman) and 74 percent at Coffeeville.

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