MDE releases statewide testing assessment data with 96.9% of the students in the 2021 school year participating.

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) has released its statewide results from the 2020-21 Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP), which provide the first statewide measure of student performance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, the Mississippi Board of Education shared the results of the assessment and more during their meeting.

MAAP measures students’ knowledge, skills and academic growth from elementary through high school. Student progress is measured from 3rd grade  through 8th grade with annual assessments in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics. In high school, their assessments are in Algebra 1 and English 2.

The statewide math results from the 2021 school year provided the first statewide measure of student performance since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pre-pandemic statewide student proficiency rates increased every year since MAAP tests were first administered in 2016.

Due to students not being tested in 2020, the 2021 results are compared to 2019. There was a decline (shown below) in the rates when comparing the two years.

Subject 2021 2019 Change
Mathematics Proficiency 35.1% 47.4% -12.3%
ELA Proficiency 34.9% 41.6% -6.7%


State Superintendent Dr. Carey Wright said overall participation for MAAP assessments was 96.9%. The federal government had waved the 95% participation rate but MDE encouraged teachers to get as many students participating in these tests as possible.

Mathematics showed overall proficiency at 35.1% which was down from 47.4%. ELA showed overall proficiency of 34.9% which was down from 41.6%.  Statewide proficiency levels fell in all grades except grade 8 ELA, which increased by .1% up to 35.6%.

“The disruption and stress caused by COVID-19 has had an impact on student performance in every state in the country…,” Dr. Wright said. “These assessment results provide valuable information about the impact the pandemic has had on learning and will identify accelerated learning opportunities for students who most need it.”

Wright said that with some of the ESSER money, many schools are going to be running after-school programs. Some of the schools already ran summer programs, and some had even talked about Saturday programs. They will also be putting out an RFP for ‘high-dosage’ tutoring so the districts can take advantage of that with their ESSER money.

In 2013 when the first mission was approved by the board, Mississippi’s education was rated F by the Quality Counts K-12 achievement. Since then, Mississippi has improved to a C- and is now ranked at 35th in the nation and number 2 for most improved.

“During the 2019-20 and the 2020-21 school years, the impact of the COVID-19 disrupted many facets of education. Among other factors, these disruptions may have influenced a student’s opportunity to learn, motivation, and assessment administration conditions,” MDE presented at today’s meeting.

The graph below shows overall MAAP proficiency for five years and the red line shows the COVID-19 disruption to the progress and increases that have been made over the last four years.

“This year establishes a new baseline for statewide assessments,” Wright said. “As the world moves to recover from the pandemic, I am confident Mississippi students will progress just as rapidly as they did before.”

The state superintendent expressed confidence in MDE and the school statewide.

“We are very proud of what we have accomplished in Mississippi,” said Dr. Wright.

Read the reports for yourself at the links below:

2020-21 District and school-level assessment results

2018-19 District and school-level assessment results