NASD third-grade reading scores improve, still below state average

Published 1:45 am Friday, May 19, 2017

By Christian Coffman

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — The percentage of third-graders in the Natchez-Adams School District who passed the state’s mandated reading assessment is up 10 percent from last year, but still below the state average.

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Scores released by the Mississippi Department of Education Thursday show 85.7 percent  of Natchez-Adams third-graders passed the reading test on the first try this year. In 2016,  75.5 percent of NASD third-graders passed the intitial test.

Statewide, 92 percent of third-graders passed the test. Last year 85 percent of students in Mississippi passed the test on the first try.

Natchez-Adams Superintendent Fred Butcher did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Tests must meet the requirements of the Mississippi Literacy-Based Promotion Act, which requires third-graders to pass a reading assessment to demonstrate they are ready for fourth-grade reading instruction. Students are provided with three opportunities to pass the test.

Scores for individual schools in the district show 91.7 percent of students from McLaurin Elementary passed the test, just .3 percentage points shy of the state average.

Seventy-seven percent of third-graders from Joseph L. Frazier Elementary School and 86.3 percent from Susie B. West Elementary School passed the test.

Students who did not pass the first reading test are being retested this week. The final retest opportunity will take place between June 26 and Aug. 4

The state requires that a student scoring at the lowest achievement level on the Third Grade Reading Assessment be retained in third grade, unless the student meets the good cause exemptions specified in the law.

Local school districts determine which of their students who did not pass qualify for one of the good cause exemptions for promotion to fourth grade.

For more information about the third grade readin assessment go to