Analysis: Wright wants higher bar third-grade reading test

State Superintendent of Education Carey Wright wants to move the goalposts on third-grade literacy, requiring students to score significantly higher to advance to fourth grade. But Gov. Phil Bryant, while he says he supports higher standards, said he thinks that should be done gradually, and only if lawmakers add more money for help.

The Mississippi Department of Education announced last week that 92 percent of last year’s nearly 38,000 third graders had passed the test after three attempts. But not even 8 percent are actually repeating third grade this year. That’s because the state is still gathering data on how many students didn’t pass the test but got exemptions and were allowed to advance to fourth grade anyway.