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MDE releases achievement gap report during heart of pandemic

(Live 5)
Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 11:59 AM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - We are getting a clearer picture of the achievement gap numbers in English and math during the worst part of the pandemic.

Thursday, the Mississippi Department of Education released achievement gap data for students who took statewide assessments in during the 2020-21 school year.

Economically disadvantaged students show the greatest achievement gap when compared to other students in both ELA (31.8%) and mathematics (35.8%). Though some gaps narrowed, significant gaps still exist between student population groups.

The report shows disparities in academic performance between subgroups of Mississippi’s students in grades 3-12.

It’s calculated based on the percentage of students scoring proficient or advanced in the following student subgroups:

  • All students
  • Major racial and ethnic groups
  • Students with disabilities
  • Limited English-proficient students
  • Economically disadvantaged students
  • Gender

MDE compared 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%)

MDE says COVID-19 played a role in the results of this assessment.

“Disruptions may have influenced a student’s opportunity to learn, motivation and/or assessment administration conditions. Also, proficiency decreased among all student subgroups, with some decreasing more than others,” the organization said in a press release.

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