The report shows that some gaps narrowed, significant gaps still exist between student population groups.

In the 2020-2021 school year, there were 442,627 students enrolled in public school in the State of Mississippi, a decline of over 5% from the previous year. MDE’s analysis of public-school enrollment for the 2020-21 school year shows that a drop in kindergarteners and spike in homeschoolers have driven the statewide decline in enrollment last year.

Homeschool enrollment increased from 18,758 in 2019-20 to 25,489 in 2020-21, removing an additional 6,731 students from public-school attendance rolls.

Today, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) released achievement gap data for students who took statewide assessments in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics in the 2020-21 school year.

View the 2021 Assessment Achievement Gap Analysis here.

“School districts can use the data in this report to further evaluate the impact of the pandemic and to implement plans to address the disparity of performance between all student groups,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education said. “Districts have received federal COVID-19 relief funds to ensure they are able to provide direct support to students such as tutoring and other enrichment activities. The MDE will continue to provide technical assistance and support to teachers, schools and districts to help them address the impact of the pandemic on student learning.”

MDE explained that this year’s achievement gap report suggests using caution for interpreting the results due to COVID-19 causing disruptions in different aspects of education.

The report identifies any gaps in academic performance between subgroups of students in Mississippi from grades 3-12. The report shows that some gaps narrowed, significant gaps still exist between student population groups.

This year’s analysis compares achievement gaps from 2018-19 to 2020-21. Results include:

  • Gap decreased 4.8% between English speaking students and English learners in ELA
  • Gap decreased 4.0% between students without disabilities and students with disabilities in ELA
  • Gap decreased slightly (less than 1%) between white students and African-American and Hispanic students in ELA and widened in mathematics (4.8% for African-American students; 3.5% for Hispanic students)
  • Gap increased between economically disadvantaged and not economically disadvantaged students in both ELA (1.4%) and mathematics (4.4%)