MDE News

School- and District-Level 3rd Grade Reading Passing Rates Available for Public Viewing

by Jun 05, 2018

Carey M. Wright, Ed.D., State Superintendent of Education

Office of Communications & Legislative Support
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR, Director of Communications *601-359-3706 *FAX:  601-359-3033
Jean Cook, Communications Specialist *601-359-3519


For Immediate Release: June 5, 2018

School- and District-Level 3rd Grade Reading Passing Rates Available for Public Viewing

JACKSON, Miss. – School- and district-level passing rates for the first administration of the 3rd Grade Reading Assessment are now available to the public. The passing rate report is posted on the Mississippi Department of Education website.

Statewide, 93.2 percent of 3rd graders passed the test. The initial pass rate has increased every year since the test was first administered, rising from 85 percent in 2015, to 87 percent in 2016,  to 92 percent in 2017.

More than 60 school districts had a pass rate of 95 percent or higher.

The Literacy-Based Promotion Act requires 3rd graders to pass a reading assessment to be promoted to 4th grade. Students are provided with three opportunities to pass the test.

Literacy Support Schools, which had literacy coaches assigned to them to provide support and training to teachers, had a pass rate of 88.4 percent this year, up from 87.5 percent in 2017, 78 percent in 2016 and 73 percent in 2015.

The reading portion of the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) English Language Arts (ELA) is used to determine 3rd grade promotion, in addition to meeting the district’s academic requirements for promotion.

Since the 2014-15 school year, Mississippi’s Literacy-Based Promotion Act has required that a student scoring at the lowest achievement level on the 3rd Grade Reading Assessment be retained in 3rd 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 4th grade.

The law was amended in 2016 to require students starting in the 2018-19 school year to score above the lowest two achievement levels in order to be promoted to the 4th grade. This means students need to score at level 3 or higher on the reading portion of MAAP. Based on preliminary data for 2018 for the first administration of the test, 73.8 percent of students scored at level 3 or higher, up from 69.6 percent in 2017.

Also starting in 2018-19, alternate forms of the Questar-developed MAAP English Language Arts test will be used for retesting instead of the Renaissance-developed reading test that had been in use since 2015.

For information about summer reading programs, contact local school districts. For more information about the Literacy-Based Promotion Act, visit


# # #

Copyright © 2012 Mississippi Department of Education
Website Accessibility StatementAgency Web DisclaimerNotice of Non-Discrimination