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JPS Scholars Overcoming Academic Challenges During Pandemic

August 19, 2022

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) recently released statewide results from the 2021-22 Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP), which shows considerable improvement for scholars in Jackson Public Schools. Overall, the percentage of scholars scoring proficient or advanced in English Language Arts (ELA) is 26.8%,  21.4% in Mathematics, and 32.5% in Science. While performance in Science held steady, performance in U.S. History exceeded the pre-pandemic level.


Jim Hill High School Callaway High School
Jim Hill High science teacher Susan Bender helps a scholar identify an object through a microscope. Callaway High chemistry teacher Linda Horton lectures her class regarding an assignment.


After achieving modest improvements with proficiency scores in 2019 and no state test administration in 2020, JPS achievement in 2021 reflected the devastating impact of the pandemic resulting in 8.8 and 14.7 percentage point declines in ELA and Math, respectively. However, scholars' performance on this year's MAAP assessment demonstrates dramatic gains - nearing pre-pandemic levels. While celebrating scholars and educators, district officials acknowledge there is much more work to be done.


The chart below displays the District’s performance in ELA and Math from 2016 to 2022.  


In Mathematics, the number of scholars scoring proficient or above increased from 9.1% in 2021 to 21.4% in 2022 – a  gain of 12.3%.

In English Language Arts, the number of scholars scoring proficient or above increased from 18.3% in 2021 to 26.8% in 2022.

In Science, the number of scholars scoring proficient or above increased from 20.4% in 2021 to 32.5% in 2022 (a gain of 12.1% and matching our pre-pandemic level of 32.5% in 2019).

“I am extremely proud of the academic gains our scholars have made and the work put forth by our teachers, support staff, and administrators,” said Superintendent Dr. Errick L. Greene. “The delivery of quality instruction is where the rubber meets the road. Although the pandemic caused significant interruptions to teaching and learning, I am pleased to see our scholars accelerating toward academic success.”

Dr. Michael Cormack, Deputy Superintendent, explained, “JPS focused teaching and learning on the ABCs: Acceleration, Balanced Assessment, and Culture of Observation/Feedback. We used this frame to align our professional development and instructional coaching to ensure that teachers and scholars were fully supported to make faster gains.”

Accountability grades for the 2021-22 school year will be released at the Mississippi State Board of Education meeting on September 29, 2022.