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Local, State Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Tests Show Growth

By Alyssa Schnugg
Staff writer

Oxford and Lafayette County’s kindergarteners tested higher than the state average in the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment taken by students in the fall and spring of the 2017-2018 school year.

The results showed that the majority of Mississippi’s kindergarteners made significant gains during the academic year.
The state’s average score for the spring test was 710.

OSD Kindergarten Readiness scores for 2016-2017 and 2017-2018.

Kindergarteners in the Oxford School District went from an average score of 522 in the fall to an average score of 749 in the spring.
Lafayette County kindergarteners scored an average 515 points in the fall and then jumped to an average score of 729 in the spring.
Each kindergarten student is assessed at the start of the school year upon entering kindergarten to determine their reading skills and then retested in the spring to determine if there was growth.
Depending on the child’s score, they are listed as either an early emergent, late emergency, transitional or probable reader.
An early emergent reader is just beginning to understand that printed text has meaning, and that reading involves printed words and sentences. They understand print flows left to right and from the top to the bottom of the page. A Probable Reader is becoming proficient at recognizing many words, both in and out of context and can blend sounds and word parts to read words and sentences more quickly than other students.
At the start of the 2017-2018 school year, 40 percent of Oxford’s kindergartners were Early Emergent Readers, with only about 1 percent being Probable Readers. By spring, those results flipped, as students spring-boarded into the more proficient probable reader category. About 51 percent of kindergartners tested as Probable Readers with about 2 percent still being early emergent readers.
Every district in the state showed progress among their kindergarten classes, though student achievement varied. District average scores ranged from 626 to 794. The target end-of-year score for kindergarten is 681, and 123 school districts met or exceeded this target score. This score categorizes students as transitional readers. Students scoring at this level are beginning to read unfamiliar words and easy reader material but are not yet independent readers.
“These results validate the hard work of kindergarten teachers across the state who have successfully helped students build their foundational literacy skills,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “Reading instruction must remain a major focus through the third grade and beyond so that all children develop strong reading skills. Reading is the gateway to learning.”
View assessment results here.

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