Mississippi Test Scores Suffer Under Common Core

BY:

Test scores for Mississippi schools have dropped since the state adopted the Common Core standards.

The students were evaluated by tests aligned with their previous standards, but they will soon replace those tests with Common Core-aligned tests.

According to the Associated Press:

In grades 3-8, the average share of students scoring proficient or higher on language arts tests fell by 2.5 percentage points from 2012-2013. The average share of students scoring proficient or higher on math tests fell by 4.6 percentage points. State officials have said in the past that Common Core math classes will show bigger differences from Mississippi’s old standards than reading and language arts classes. […]

Among last year’s 37,000 third-graders, 13 percent or 6,500 scored minimal, the lowest of four levels, on the state reading test. This year’s third-graders must pass a new computerized reading test to move on to fourth grade. Passing levels have yet to be set. The roughly 30-minute test will be given in April.

The state superintendent of education told AP that the drop is “because the 2014 tests were not aligned to Mississippi’s higher academic standards,” and that new standards will “provide a more meaningful measure” of student learning.

The new tests will be available in the spring. But former Mississippi state testing director James Mason has cautioned that the Common Core-aligned tests, which are being produced by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, will be “probably twice as hard.”