GEORGE COUNTY, Miss. (WKRG) — Test scores overall for George County students remain below pre-pandemic levels. The district’s performance contradicts state headlines of rebounded results.

State leaders took a victory lap Thursday, Aug. 18 as student achievement across Mississippi public schools rose to record highs, matching or outpacing pre-pandemic Mississippi Academic Assessment Program scores.

“The 2021-22 assessment results provide clear and indisputable evidence of the resilience of our students and educators and their ability to recover from the disruptions to learning,” said interim state superintendent Kim Benton.

The percentage of students scoring proficient or advanced reached an all-time high of 42.2% in English language arts and 55.9% in science.

George County scored above the state average in both subjects, 44.11% in ELA and 67% in science. The district did not exceed its highest scores reached over the last five years. 44.7% of students were at a proficient or higher level in ELA in 2019.

Science scores fell year over year from 72.6% proficient in 2021 to 67% in 2022.

The district lost its status as having some of the very top scores in the state. The district had the 8th best performance in science in 2021 and 6th best in algebra. A preliminary analysis of the data appears to rank the district at 72 out of 138 districts that tested in algebra for the most recent school year.

Overall, math scores were up district-wide with a majority of students, 54.4%, reaching the proficient level, for the first time.

MAAP measures student performance in ELA and mathematics in grades 3-8, science in grades 5 and 8, and in high school English II, Algebra I, Biology and U.S. History.

Other school-level highlights of the data include:

  • George County High School scores fell from 2021 to 2022 in three out of four subjects. U.S. History scores improved by 10%
  • LT Taylor Elementary had its best performance in the past five years for every subject.
  • Benndale Elementary had the highest science scores in the district with 81% of students scoring proficient or advanced, a major gain from 23.8% in 2019.
  • George County Middle School saw improvements in every subject area over the last year.

The state department of education says MAAP tests are designed to let parents know how their child is progressing and to provide teachers with information to guide instruction. The department says it also uses scores to determine where to target resources like instructional coaches and professional development opportunities.

The state board of education’s strategic plan calls for all students to meet proficiency. The majority of Mississippi students remain below the proficient level in math and English.

“We still have children across our state that have needs, they’re struggling with different areas academically. And that’s our responsibility. Our challenge as we move into the next year is to make sure we reach each and every student,” Benton said.

Full break-down of George County data, separated by subject area and searchable by school:

U.S. History

George County High73.5%57.4%60.7%70.5%