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Education officials concerned about test scores

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The Mississippi Department of Education has released the results of statewide curriculum tests, and officials are concerned about the reading level of some students.

Almost 50 percent of the state’s third-graders received high scores of proficient or advanced on the Mississippi Curriculum Test language arts section. That’s only a slight increase from 2009, when 47.5 percent of third-graders in the state scored advanced or proficient on the test.

Deputy State Superintendent of Education Lynn House tells The Clarion-Ledger the officials are concerned because the goal of the state Board of Education is to have all outgoing third-graders reading on grade level by 2020.

Research shows that students who are unable to read by third grade are more likely to drop out of school later.

The percentage of high school students who passed the English 2 test dipped slightly to 68 percent from 69 percent. The percentage of students to pass the Algebra 1 test rose to 79.6 percent from 72 percent.

Students have to pass all four subject area tests and all their courses to graduate.

The Algebra 1 and English 2 tests require students to be able to read questions and use critical thinking skills to derive an answer.

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