JPS scholars overcoming academic challenges during pandemic

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Superintendent Errick L. Greene, Ed.D.
Linda Horton, a Callaway High School teacher, lectures her class regarding an assignment during the school day.
Susan Bender, a Jim Hill High School science teacher, helps a scholar identify an object through a microscope.

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.

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.

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 the 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 all of 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.

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JPS scholars overcoming academic challenges during pandemic

By Jackson Advocate News Service
August 31, 2022