Importance of State Testing
Several rounds of State testing will be administered to particular groups of students in May. This year’s testing cycle was set by the State to take place later in the school year to provide more teaching time before test administration. MCT2 testing will occur May 8-11, Subject Area testing on May 1-7, and 5th and 8th grade science testing on May 1-2. These test administrations, mandated by the State, are required to be given on these specific dates.
The State of Mississippi emphasizes the importance of these tests and the test results have repercussions for our community. Optimum scoring upon these tests is important to our District, our community, and for the students’ individually. The tests, designed to be a reflection of the year’s student learning, impacts a variety of factors. Some of the factors include a student’s class placement, the scheduling of specific classes such as accelerated or advanced, the schools’ and district’s accountability labels, and, therefore, impacts our city and county’s attractiveness for business and industry.
MCT2 testing and science testing results determine the State label affixed to the students, schools, and districts reflecting the student achievement and growth of student learning from year to year. These labels include minimal, basic, proficient, and advanced. Our teachers, principals, and administrators have implemented year-long strategies for teaching and evaluating student progress to ensure optimum results upon these upcoming tests.
SATP testing, or subject area testing, receives great emphasis from the State for high school students. Students must pass selected subject area tests to graduate from high school. Subject area tests include 10th grade English, US History, Biology I, and Algebra I. If a student does not pass a test on the first administration, the student has the opportunity to retest on dates set by the Mississippi Department of Education.
The students are currently receiving an intense review of the State curriculum in preparation for the upcoming testing cycle. Administrative Assistant Tim Wilder states, “We expect the results of all of the tests to reflect the targeted instruction from the school year and the good, hard work of our teachers and students.”
Parents are requested to assist their children with the upcoming testing cycle by ensuring that the students receive plenty of rest and consume a healthy breakfast, have extra attentiveness to homework, attend class each day, and receive extra encouragement for their efforts.
Grenada School District has a focused goal: educational achievement to give all of our community’s children the foundation for a successful life. State testing is a requirement for our students and schools for State evaluation. Our students, teachers, administrators are working diligently to ensure successful results.
These mandates will be a series of challenges for our District and for districts across our State, raising the benchmarks and expectations in Mississippi schools. These new requirements will put a lot of pressure upon our District, but we feel that the students and teachers are up to the challenge. These transitions will be implemented incrementally, using the most effective strategies available. Teachers will combine the Standards with the existing MS Frameworks until the transition is completed. These new Standards will require even more focus on the part of our teachers, staff, and administrators as we face the challenges of academic competition with districts across our State, as well as, comparisons with 43 states and the District of Columbia.