Testing & Assessment

Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

On June 28th, 2010, the Mississippi Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  Full implementation will begin in School Year 2014-2015.  The Common Core is a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA). These learning goals outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. The standards were created to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life, regardless of where they live. Forty-four states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) have voluntarily adopted and are moving forward with the Common Core


Subject Area Testing Program
The Mississippi Student Achievement Improvement Act, approved by the Mississippi Senate in 1999, states that standards for high school graduation shall include student "mastery of minimum academic skills as measured by assessments developed and administered by the State Board of Education". To meet the intent of this legislation, four subjects area tests were developed: Algebra I, Biology I, U.S. History, and English II with a writing component. Students earning a high school diploma must pass all four subject area tests to meet graduation requirements. All the online testing resources for the SATP2 can be found in the links to the right of this page, including guides for parents and teachers, information on best practices, review templates and practice tests. As of the 2012-2013 school year, the writing component of the English II assessment was eliminated and no longer required for students enrolling in English II for the first time during the 2012-2013 year. However, students who were enrolled in English II during and prior to the 2011-2012 year and have not passed the writing component must do so in order to meet graduation requirements.


Mississippi Curriculum Test (MCT2)
The MCT2 consists of customized criterion-referenced language arts and mathematics assessments that are fully aligned with the 2006 Mississippi Language Arts Framework-Revised and the 2007 Mississippi Mathematics Framework-Revised. These assessments allow Mississippi to be in compliance with the requirements of the federal legislation No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The assessments are administered to students in grades 3 through 8, including special education students whose Individual Education Plans specify instructional goals that are aligned with the 2006 Mississippi Language Arts Framework-Revised and the 2007 Mississippi Mathematics Framework-Revised for the aforementioned grades. The results of these assessments will be used in the Mississippi Statewide Accountability System, specifically the Achievement, Growth, and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Models. The results will also provide information that will be used for the purpose of improving instruction and accelerating student achievement.


Mississippi Science Test (MST2)
The Grade 5 and Grade 8 Science Assessments will be criterion-referenced assessments in grades 5 and 8 that allow Mississippi to be in full compliance with the requirements of the federal legislation No Child Left Behind. These assessments are fully customized criterion-referenced tests, and a committee of Mississippi teachers who have been selected by the MDE approved the items that appear on these tests. The tests will be aligned with the portions of the 2010 Mississippi Science Framework specified by the teacher committee and will meet the requirements of NCLB. The results of these assessments will provide information that will be used for the purpose of improving student achievement; the results may also be used in Mississippi’s school accountability system. 



Dynamic Learning Maps
The Dynamic Learning Maps Alternate Assessment System Consortium is made up of 13 states, including Mississippi, and additional partner agencies developing the Dynamic Learning Maps Alternate Assessment System, a computer-based assessment for the 1% of the K-12 public school student population with significant cognitive disabilities for whom, even with accommodations, general state assessments are not appropriate. Led by the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation at the University of Kansas, DLM is funded through a five-year-grant awarded in late 2010 by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. The assessment will be implemented during the 2014-2015 school year.


Mississippi K-3 Assessment Support System
At the beginning of kindergarten, it is expected that children will demonstrate knowledge and skills in the areas of early literacy and early numeracy, as objectively measured by a score in the Late Emergent level with a scale score of (TBD*) or above on the state approved Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Instrument, Star Early Literacy and Numeracy. 
* In accordance with nationally recognized psychometric standards, the scale score will be determined through a rigorous standard setting process in August 2014. 
In the Mississippi Early Learning Guidelines for Four-Year-Old Children (2006), an optional sample checklist is provided for each Pre-K provider to assess the objectives and competencies for each area of development three times a year. Revisions to the Mississippi Early Learning Guidelines for Four-Year-Old Children are scheduled to be released in the fall of 2014. An optional checklist will be available for districts interested in measuring evelopmentally appropriate kindergarten readiness in the additional six content areas: Approaches to Learning, Social and Emotional Development, Science, Physical Development, Creative Expression, and Social Studies. 
Star Early Literacy 
As a part of the Mississippi K-3 Assessment Support System (MKAS2), the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment is designed to measure how well Pre-K programs prepare four-year-olds to be ready for kindergarten based upon the Mississippi Early Learning Standards for Classrooms Serving Four-Year-Old Children. The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment data will provide parents, teachers, and early childhood providers with an understanding of what children know and are able to do upon entering Kindergarten. Assessment data will also be used to help improve the quality of classroom instruction and etermine interventions and services that students need. 
Timeline for Kindergarten Readiness Assessment
August 11 – September 19, 2014 K-Readiness Pretest/Universal Screener Window 
April 9 – May 13, 2015 Pre-K and Kindergarten Post-Test Window