Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Lafayette County Sees Decline in School Proficiency Scores

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor

As with most schools in Mississippi, Lafayette County School District saw a decline in student proficiency from 2019 to 2021.

Assistant Superintendent Patrick Robinson presented the MAAP Proficiency Report to the Lafayette County School District Board members Monday.

“The scores are lower than we’re used to having,” Robinson said. “Last year was a year of challenges.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students were not required to take the MAAP assessment in 2020. Students spent a considerable amount of time in school virtually and Robinson said students and teachers were in and out of quarantine all year.

“Our teachers were trying their best to teach virtually from home and learning how to teach virtually,” he said.

The third and fourth-grade classes were hit the hardest, Robinson said, with the entire third grade being displaced last year and the fourth grade having the most quarantines.

The MAAP scores reflected those challenges.

Overall, in English, the district scored a 41.15 percent proficiency, which was higher than the state average of 34.90; however, third and fourth grades both scored below the state average with proficiency scores of 29.80 percent (state average, 34.80) and 36.70 percent (state average, 37.20), respectfully.

In math, the district’s overall proficiency score was 52.93 percent with the state average being 35.10 percent. The fifth grade scored the third highest in the state for math proficiency with a score of 62 percent being proficient.

The district also scored seventh in the state for Algebra 1 proficiency with a score of 61.10 percent, compared to the state’s average of 33.20 percent.

In science, the district scored 64.90 percent proficient, with the state average being 50 percent, and garnered a 54.10 percent proficiency score in U.S. History, with the state average at 47.40 percent.

In 2019, the district’s score in English overall was 52.51 percent proficient; in math, 65.47 percent proficient; and science, 65.90 percent were proficient.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Robinson said. “But our principals and teachers are working to close these gaps.”

During the meeting, Board member Dr. Jamie Anderson said he’d like a regular update on the third-grade reading proficiency levels and for the principal of the elementary school to attend the next board meeting to discuss how the school is addressing the low proficiency scores.

Robinson also presented the ACT scores for the 2020-2021 school year along with the prior three years of scores to show a comparison.

The scores for this year were on par with the past three years. The overall average score this year was 19.5. In 2019-2020, it was 19.0; in 2018-2019 it was 20.1 and in 2017-2018, it was 19.5.