Panola students beat state average on gateway test 5/12/2015

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Panola students beat state average on gateway test

By Rupert Howell
South Panola School District’s third graders “made the grade” with a whopping 94 percent passing the “gateway” reading assessment with only 10 of Mississippi’s 146 school districts scoring higher percentage.

Mississippi Department of Education released the results of the Third Grade Reading Summative Assessment last Friday. The test was given statewide to third graders in April. The assessment determines whether or not a student is promoted to the fourth grade.

North Panola District scored a respectable 85 percent of its students passing the assessment with Como Elementary earning the highest percentage of passing third graders followed by Green Hill with 85 percent and Crenshaw with 80 percent passing.

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Batesville Intermediate School had a total of 94 percent passing and Pope School scored 93 percent passing.

South Panola superintendent Tim Wilder credited aggressive teaching for the scores, stating, “The district was proactive in planning for this assessment. I could not be more pleased with the results. I commend the teachers for their diligence in preparing our students to read at or above grade level.  We will continue to provide remediation for the students who did not pass the initial assessment in hopes they will pass it during the May 18 retest.”

Roughly 15 percent of third graders statewide – or 5,612 children– failed to demonstrate grade-level reading skills on an assessment given in April, data show, according to The Clarion-Ledger.

Students who did not pass will have two opportunities to retake the test, the first on May 18. Those who do not pass will repeat the third grade next academic year unless they meet one of several “good cause exemptions,” such as being new to the English language or having a disability.

Other school districts in the area and their percentage of third-graders passing the assessment are: Lafayette, 94; Oxford, 91; Ouitman Co., 85; Senatobia, 80; Tate, 80; Tunica, 79; Tupelo, 88; and Water Valley, 80.