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Lafayette and Oxford schools score high in state assessment

Once again, the state assessments have changed, but local school board superintendents strive to keep standards high.

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers results for math and English from third to eighth grade have been released for the state.

The assessments are designed to illustrate how students perform across the state of Mississippi.

Lafayette and Oxford school districts scored higher in level four and five than most other school districts in the state. However, both districts have identified areas for improvement.

In the PARCC assessments, levels one through three are considered adequate and below. Level four is regarded as a strong understanding of the subject. Level five is considered a distinguished understanding.

While the percentages in the fifth level were low in many grades in the area, many schools in the state were not in the distinguished understanding category at all.

“We are trying to take, especially in the middle school, the standards and break them down as much as we can,” Lafayette School District Superintendent Adam Pugh said.

Pugh said changing state-mandated assessments every year for three years in a row makes it difficult for administrators to look for quantifiable data within the district for improvement.

Last year, the schools were evaluated by a different statewide test. There will be a new state test next for the 2016 school year as well.

Oxford School District Superintendent Brian Harvey said the board did not know what to expect from the test results when the results were first released.

“This was the first and only PARCC assessment,” Harvey said. “In comparison with other districts, the state averages, and PARCC averages, our scores were both better and worse than we would like depending on the grade level.”

Pugh said the Lafayette district is trying to improve evaluations by focusing on learning the standards and teaching the curriculum the best way possible.

“Our curriculum team, administrators, and teachers are continually reviewing data of individual students and making important instructional decisions,” Harvey said.

Pugh said while he was happy with what he saw, he is not satisfied. He said the Lafayette school district wants to have higher scores within the state as well as nationally competitive.

“I want to be near the top,” Pugh said.

The RESULTS

Levels 4-5 in Math

Lafayette Oxford

3rd grade 32.3% 45.6%

4th grade 31% 43.5%

5th grade 52% 34.3%

6th grade 23.7% 43%

7th grade 19% 35.8%

8th grade 30.3% 58.8%

Levels 4-5 in English

Lafayette Oxford

3rd grade 46.5% 33.8%

4th grade 54.4% 36%

5th grade 46.6% 34.9%

6th grade 31.8% 34%

7th grade 24.8% 57.7%

8th grade 30.3% 64.4%